A Really Good Enough Parent podcast
Thank you for tuning into our podcast, A Really Good Enough Parent, hosted by PonoRoots' Clinical Director, licensed marriage and family therapist, Kristine Altwies. Each week Kristine interviews old friends and colleagues, parents who have inspired or impressed her with their approach to raising or mentoring children. If you have feedback or know someone that you think should be featured on our show, please fill out the form below.
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What is a "good enough" parent?
While the title of our podcast does not completely explain the parenting philosophy espoused by its host, Kristine Altwies, the "good enough" element is intended to grab attention and holds merit. In an age where parents push for their children to excel, social pressures are at an all time high, and childhood depression and anxiety is on the rise. How then can this be a good time for "good enough" parenting? Shouldn't we be aiming for "the best" parenting? I agree with Donald Winnicott, the man who came up with the idea of good enough parenting, and see "good enough" parenting, as excellent parenting.
Here is the Wikipedia explanation on "good enough' parenting:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Good enough parent is a concept deriving from the work of Donald Winnicott, in his efforts to provide support for what he called "the sound instincts of normal parents...stable and healthy families".
An extension of his championship of the "ordinary good mother...the devoted mother", the idea of the good enough parent was designed on the one hand to defend the ordinary mother and father against what Winnicott saw as the growing threat of intrusion into the family from professional expertise; and on the other to offset the dangers of idealisation built into Kleinian articulations of the 'good object' and 'good mother', by stressing instead the actual nurturing environment provided by the parents for the child.
A key function of good enough parenting is to provide the essential background to allow for the growing child's disillusionment with the parents and the world, without destroying their appetite for life and ability to accept (external and internal) reality.
By surviving the child's anger and frustration with the necessary disillusionments of life, the good enough parents would enable their child to relate to them on an ongoing and more realistic basis.
As Winnicott put it, it is "the good-enough environmental provision" which makes it possible for the offspring to "cope with the immense shock of loss of omnipotence".
Failing such provision, family interactions may be based on a fantasy bond, in a retreat from genuine relating that fosters the false self and undercuts the ongoing ability to use the parents to foster continuing emotional growth offered by the good enough parents.