Confident and Competent Parents
written by Holly Goldberg, PhD
Parenting, albeit the most rewarding role most of us have encountered is inherently challenging. No one will argue that the borage of new experiences mixed with the lack of sleep and major lifestyle/relationship changes push most of us past our comfort zones. Questioning whether or not we are taking care of our children in the best way possible is common. No parent is immune to feeling insecure, overwhelmed, and confused. These feelings can stoke the internal pressures we put on ourselves and are counterproductive to most of our parenting intentions. 2014 is a new year and a new opportunity to change how we perceive ourselves. It is a time to build our self-concept as parents and regain a sense of what is do-able in a compassionate and healthy way for the benefit of our children and ourselves.
The beliefs and judgments we have about how well we parent not only influence our confidence as caretakers, they actually impact our competence, which in turn effects our child’s development. The more positive our views are about our capabilities to perform and manage parenting tasks, the more likely we are to succeed. How we perceive our parenting skills is often referred to as parental self-efficacy. Positive parental self-efficacy heeds confidence and competence in healthy and successful parenting that fosters optimal child development.
Confident, successfully parenting is not without mistakes, or feeling incompetent and/or overwhelmed. It is a path of doing our best to be a good enough parent. Winnicot, a pediatrician and psychoanalyst coined the concept of “the good enough mother” which refers to the ordinary mother who has good intentions to care for her baby and is more or less attuned to her child only 30% of the time. That isn’t even half the time! The other 70% of the time is used to repair misattunements, or fractures and disruptions in the parent-child bond. It is time to give ourselves a little slack and compassion.
As parents our flaws and mistakes are often magnified making it important for us to repair our mishaps and demonstrate kindness to ourselves. Repair is an important life and relationship skill that teaches our children how to handle and regulate in times of stress and is essential in building resiliency and parental self-efficacy. It is for this reason NTNC maintains a safe environment where parents can come together and practice parenting, making mistakes, and repairing.
NTNC is committed to helping parents build self-efficacy in a way that makes sense to us on an individual level because that is what has been found to be most important. NTNC’s core programs are carefully formulated to build parental health, resiliency, and reflection so caretakers can engage in healthy parenting that optimizes the social, physical, and emotional competence of children while simultaneously promoting healthy parent-child attachment and bonding. NTNC supports families as they transition into new lifestyles and roles. The organization’s goal is to ensure that the children in our community are born healthy and are raised in nurturing homes, and parents are equipped with sufficient education, support,and resources to raise their children.