The bad guy vs. the good guy
Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Parenting is a funny thing. No matter what a parent does they tend to be viewed as the bad guy. If the child refuses to attend school, the parent is the bad guy. If the child bullies another, this behavior must be happening at home. If mom does not want to give me what I want then she does not love me. If my wife/ husband do not improve their way of relating to our child, then he/ she is a bad parent. In therapy, it is important to explore this concept of being a bad guy versus a good guy and perhaps move away from this fear-based type of parenting.
While there is certainly some parents who resort to very poor parenting techniques such as abuse and neglect, and should be judged by the legal system, there is the other parents. The ones that are trying their best but just don't know how to stop being the bad guy. Well, what about the radical notion of not trying to be a good or bad guy but a PARENT. A parent's role is to provide security, protection, teach values and love their child. Therefore, as long as a parent is constantly protecting their child, making their child feel secure and loved, and teaching them good values, then should not that be the goal. Yes, sometimes that will make the parent a bad parent to some or not enough of a good parent to others but just like with all other issues in life, perfection is unattainable. What is attainable is providing your child with so much love that their self-esteem is high, teach them values so potent that they will carry those as they get older (even if this means it is done by giving healthy consequences) and making your child feel so secure that they will turn to you whenever they have an issue. What about just being a good enough parent.