As a psychologist working in schools and with parents, I see what an intense “occupation” being a parent has become, and there is an unfortunate belief that there’s a perfect way to do the job.
Over the years, I’ve come to understand that the value of being a good enough parent is that we can then appreciate our children as good enough, too.
For years in workshops and in print I’ve been introduced as a parenting expert. I love the phrase, not because it’s true, but because—wouldn’t it be nice if it could be. As the years went on I started pointing out that it was my favorite oxymoron, because no matter how good you are at this job, there will never be the feeling of expertise.
And these days with “parenting” almost morphing into a competitive sport, it's even harder. So I like to offer a bit of perspective on the journey.
Most people in my generation were just raised when parent was a noun, not a verb. There was sometimes a bit of input from Dr. Spock, but we weren’t “parented,” so we meet this new trend with a mixture of humor and resignation.
But when you're in the trenches with your kids—and inevitably comparing yourself to other parents—it can be hard to remember that you know yourself and your child best and you're probably, in fact, almost certainly, doing a fine job.
To me, reasonable expectations of our children and of ourselves are central in this child rearing process. And I’ve come to believe that good intentions, good sense and good humor count for more than anything. These are good enough.
My mission is to help you find the happiness and comfort of "good enough" with your kids.
about Dr. demersseman
Dr. Susan DeMersseman is a psychologist who has worked with children and families for more than 30 years and a writer whose work has appeared in many national publications and in several books. She consults on media projects related to children and has appeared on TV and radio programs and in educational films.
She grew up in South Dakota and brings a Midwestern sense of proportion and humor to her work with children and families. Her husband and her two now grown children are a frequent source of inspiration for her work and writing.
She loves to garden and believes that many problems can be solved by a good hour with her hands in the dirt.