Advice For Imperfect Parents By Dr. Paul Jenkins

POSTED BY on April 23, 2020

This planet is populated with imperfect people. In fact, I think that's perfect. I have a little mantra and I do this with my clients. You are perfectly designed to be imperfect.

By divine design, we have imperfections, we have weaknesses. There are a lot of reasons for that, but it's something that bothers us a lot, too. You are in good company. Every other parent on the planet is also imperfect. And so, let's just lighten up a little bit, shall we?  And in another sense, maybe you are not as imperfect as you think.


My wife tells about a time dealing with one of our teenagers and she took a walk to cool down and had a thought come to her, "You know, there might be other people, other parents that could provide him with this or handle this situation better, but nobody... nobody is going to love him better than me. I am the perfect parent for him when it comes to love.”

So powerful and so true, because our job is to love our children no matter what and even if…

Let's just quit beating ourselves up that we are not the perfect parent. You are the perfect parent for your kids. She also realized in a crisis parenting moment that there might be situations that she could handle a lot better or somebody else could handle better, but she was doing the very best that she could. At that moment with the sleep she’d had, (or lack thereof), the information that she had, she was doing the best she could. And when you know better, you do better. It could always be better, and that's not a reason to beat yourself up.

We do the best we can and give our children what we  can in the moment and the rest is your child’s journey to work through whatever didn't go the way they expected in their childhood.

It's really easy to slip into that trap of, "Well, if I would have only known then what I know now..." Well, you didn't. And you did the best that you knew how to do with what you had at the time. When you know better, do better.

When we hold ourselves to an impossible perfectionistic standard, it sends a little subtle message to other people (and our kids), that we kind of expect that from them too.

When we are vulnerable and show our imperfections to someone, it gives them permission to embrace the imperfections in themselves. That moment can create stronger bonds between a child and a parent. If our children are being raised thinking that we are perfect, how is that going to help them in their journey of growth?


By Dr. Paul

Dr. Paul is an author, speaker, personal coach and positivity expert with 20+ years experience as a Professional Psychologist. His book Pathological Positivity and its pocket-sized companion Portable Positivity illuminate powerful principles that when applied can make an immediate difference in your life. Dr. Paul's channel Live On Purpose TV, available on YouTube, has a parenting playlist with a wide variety of subjects to help parents create positivity in their parenting. You can connect with Dr. Paul at

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