This father captured the confusing realities of parenting small children. His daughter changed her mind frequently on whether she was enjoying the act of tubing on the snowy slopes of Quebec. We?ll leave it to the words of dad himself to most accurately summarize parenting; ?Kids are incredibly fun, but can be incredibly irrational!? Credit: YouTube/Viva Frei via Storyful
IF THERE’S one thing that makes a perfect parent, it’s imperfection: so says one of the most recognisable global parenting experts, Jo Frost.
Frost became a no-nonsense phenomenon with the worldwide television series Supernanny and will be in Adelaide for the first time in June, hosting parenting seminars covering everything from sleep deprivation to social media.
She told The Advertiser from her London home that the “smoke and mirrors” of social media only added to the pressures to be the perfect parent.
“The reality is … messier,” she said. “The perfect parent doesn’t exist; no one is perfect.
“We all screw up, we make mistakes, we get a bit lazy.
“I understand and celebrate that (sort of) parent but, at the same time, I don’t think it’s OK to celebrate not doing anything all the time.”
Parents, she said, need to work hard at getting it right.
“We need to enjoy parenthood with the realistic expectations that it is not always easy; it can be challenging and sometimes it’s extremely tough.
“However, as extremely tough as it can be, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” she said.
Frost said Australian parents were dealing with the same hotbed issues as parents in the UK and the US: sleep deprivation, nutrition, housing and affordable child care.
She said the most common mistake modern-day parents made was using quick fixes to curb their child’s behaviour.
“We live in the kind of world where we want immediate gratification, we want everything yesterday and that our techniques will work in five minutes.
“But there are no shortcuts in parenting.
“If you make a decision and it’s a quick fix, it turns around and bites you on the bum.”
FIVE TOP TIPS FOR PARENTS
1. Establish a routine:
A routine is incredibly important because it creates stability for kids
2. Parents must communicate with each other:
Talk, parent-to-parent. It’s really healthy and constructive. Partners need to talk to each about their kids and gauge each other’s opinions.
3. Set realistic expectations:
Don’t expect a five-year-old to do things that are not appropriate for their emotional development. A lot of parents have unrealistic expectations.
Sleep is the foundation for so much and without sleep, we’ve got nothing, we’re irritable.
5. Make time for all of you to spend together:
No one gives us time, we have to be our own carpenters and carve out the time to spend together.
Jo Frost – Live In Australia will be running two seminars at the Intercontinental Adelaide on North Tce on Friday, June 16. See www.jofrost live.com
Originally published as No such thing as a perfect parent