What makes a great parent?

What makes a great parent

What makes a Great Parent?   Guest blog  By Kate Hughes

We all want the best for our children, but we’re so busy juggling kids, work and household chores, we rarely get time to think about what their best might look like.  More often than not, my role was like that of an at home counsellor come health and safety officer and just getting to the end of the week with all limbs intact felt like a minor miracle.

But in a rare moment of downtime, I stumbled across an article about good parenting in the modern age.  To be honest, parenting was the last thing I wanted to be thinking about late in the evening, but it just appeared in my social media stream and who doesn’t want that re-assurance they’re doing the right things? My parenting efforts went largely unnoticed by my children, so maybe this would give me the pat on the back I felt I deserved. 

juggling parent
best parent award

It started well. I ticked all the early boxes and I was feeling positive. The good parenting badge was surely mine.

But as the article went on, I became less convinced.  It wasn’t that I was doing anything wrong, it was more that I might not be doing enough. As if I had enough time to do more, I thought.  But as I read on, I realised it wasn’t my time that was the issue, it was my attitude.  Good parenting wasn’t just about getting them through the week, it was balanced with pushing them to be their best.  I’d become so focused on surviving one week to the next I’d lost sight of what they could be. As long as they weren’t in trouble and didn’t appear to be falling behind in anything I was happy. But maybe that wasn’t enough and it hit home with the question – do you know how good your child could be?

Do you know how good your child could be?

I couldn’t answer it. When I actually thought about it, I didn’t really know how good they were, let alone how good they could be.  My child could be the next Einstein, who knows? Within the context of their classes  in their small school I had a rough idea but where did that put them against everyone else or in the wider population?  And what if, with a little push in the right direction they could do even better? Maybe there was one area of maths or english that they were having trouble with that was holding them back, and I didn’t know? What if my attitude of just getting them through the week was robbing them of their potential?

I wasn’t craving for them to the best or the top of the class and there wasn’t a problem as such that I could put my finger on and deal with. The issue was the fact that I didn’t know and without knowing, I couldn’t help them find out what their best looked like.

I was reminded of a quote by American poet Maya Angelou “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”  We only get one chance with parenting (unless you have more than one child😉) and I don’t want to look back and wonder if I could have done better….

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” 

Maya Angelou

Kate contacted us and tried our maths assessment to find out how her two children were doing across the maths curriculum.  She now knows where they need extra help and is well on her way to winning the best parenting award!