How do I know if I’m a good parent?

How do I know if I’m a good parent?

There’s a real reason you might not know what kind of a job you are doing as a parent.

Rachel Norman, Authorized Language of Listening® Coach and author of A Mother Far from Home blog, shared this huge epiphany with her newsletter readers and gave me permission to share it with you. It makes our modern dilemma crystal clear.

… So anyway, I was reading this one excerpt [from a parenting book from the 1990’s] and it hit me — one reason moms today are so strung out and stressed and lacking confidence mothers of decades before had…


The reason is… we don’t have a clear way to tell we’re doing a good job at parenting while we are in the thick of it.


Sure, later in life we can look at our kids as they’re grown and say:


they’re stable and healthy,
they have good character,
they haven’t cut off communication with us so we must have done something right.


I mean… I’ll take that!


But while we are parenting them as they’re babies, toddlers and preschoolers, going through adolescence, teen years, etc… we aren’t quite sure sometimes.


➡️ The measuring stick parents used to have was the behavior of their children.


If children behaved calmly then parents were good. Except that this led to a lot of extreme parenting styles and abuse in an effort to get kids to appear well-behaved.


So, times turned away from that. Behavior matters, of course, but it can’t be the only thing.


And then it moved to whether kids had self-esteem or not…


Except they thought you could just say tons of nice stuff to kids, and they’d feel good about themselves.


But, turns out self-esteem is self-earned, not given, and if you say a bunch of praise that falls flat, it actually makes a child feel worse.


And now?


Well, we parents tend to use our children’s emotions as a barometer for whether we’re doing a good job or not.


Here are some things that happen when our children’s moods are our barometer:


  • Kids being unhappy with what we tell them to do = our request isn’t right (aka guilt).


  • Us feeling like the appropriate response to out of control behavior from a child is NOT correction but rather connection. Yes, sometimes that’s true. Other times, they just throw a fit to get what they want.


  • Being tossed to and fro on the waves of your child’s emotions because your child’s emotions now become the barometer or the standard by which you judge your parenting.


  • Guilt, guilt, guilt because it’s impossible to please children all the time, therefore I’m not doing Quite Enough.


😵 Whew, it’s a lot of pressure to base our parenting success on our children’s feelings since we humans can feel an entire range of emotions in a one-hour period! Talk about whiplash…

Rachel goes on to encourage her readers to ponder just what they DO consider successful parenting.

If you’re familiar with Language of Listening®, you know our three-part coaching model gives you a simple way to accomplish all three parenting goals Rachel mentions without any of the drawbacks of the old ways of doing things! That’s because our model is connection-based, needs-based, and strengths-based — all rolled into one with a special transformational twist.

Our simple coaching skills help you change how you see your child which changes your reactions effortlessly. Seeing your child differently and understanding that their emotions and behavior arise from valid needs gives you new options for problem-solving that actually bring out your child’s STRENGTHs. What happens when your child recognizes their STRENGTHs? Their behavior shifts naturally, they gain confidence in their abilities, and you realize they can handle tough situations themselves. Bye-bye guilt.

Our integrated coaching model takes you out of the role of controller, rescuer, or pacifier and plants you squarely on your child’s side as their life coach. So, what’s the measure of that?

Confidence and a respectful relationship where both you and your child feel good about yourselves and enjoy each other.

For more insights and down-to-earth how-to’s from Rachel on boundaries and more, visit her website, sign up for her newsletter, and get her book (If Mama Ain’t Happy…) when it comes out in the fall of 2022!

Rachel Norman, Parent Coach


Authorized Language of Listening® Coach, Rachel Norman, is mom of five and the author of A Mother Far from Home blog where she writes on developing mindsets, routines, and habits that take the chaos out of parenting.


Connect with her on her websiteInstagramFacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *