The “Perfect” Parent

September 22, 2013, Parenting Success Network

As I mentioned in last week’s blogs I was curious about what teachers would say makes the “perfect” parent. So I have spent the last week talking with various teachers and administrators in the local schools that my children attend (elementary and middle).

What I found was both interesting and inspiring at the same time. As many parents might have assumed, I thought the teachers would say that the “perfect” parent would: volunteer in the classroom regularly, attend to all parent-teacher conferences, volunteer to help with field trips and other school activities, and be a member of the PTA (if not the president). These are the things that many parents wish they could do more of, but have commitments such as work and siblings that fill the space of our days instead. And, for me, at times, I have felt that I was doing a lackluster job as a parent because of that.

But alas, these are not the things that the teachers that I talked with listed as qualities of a “perfect” parent. Some of the things teachers DID say were:

A “perfect” parent is:

*a parent that supports their child’s academic endeavors.

*a parent that promotes the value and importance of school.

*a parent that knows when to “let go” and allow their child to be responsible for their own learning and other self-regulatory functions.

*a parent that supports a balanced academic and extra-curricular schedule for their child.

These are all things that many parents are doing, or can do, successfully without having to make changes to our work schedule. They are easily “doable” and highly effective in supporting our children and their teachers. And this is great news to me because while I believe there is no such thing as a “perfect” parent or teacher, it’s comforting to know that we sure can come close by keeping a few important things in mind.