CLANCY BRIGGS

What Is A Successful Parent

4 min read
What Is A Successful Parent

Last night, I was lucky enough to be able to sit down and watch the last part of a news program. Dinner and dishes were done, children were bathed and ready for (but not in) bed, the huge pile of washing could wait. As I sat and listened to Carrie and Charlie interview Sir Richard Branson, I was suddenly struck by their questions as to his success. Now, undoubtedly, Mr Branson is a successful business man, but it was the enquiry into his advice for being both a successful businessman and a successful parent that got me thinking; what is a successful parent?

Some would argue that keeping your kids alive qualifies you as a success in the parenting occupation. A lot would agree that merely keeping them out of juvenile detention and/or prison means you’re up there with the best of them, bonus points if they make it through life without a criminal record of any kind. The majority believe that if you just manage to raise a good, decent human being with good morals and some common sense then you’ve done your bit, you get an A. But how do we measure success as a parent?

My mother’s generation believes that “good” parenting leads to “good” people. You did your job right if your child finished school, got a good job (or married a man with one), you got married, bought a house, had babies (in that order) and had coffee with Mum every Wednesday and dinner back at the family home every Sunday. This was their checklist, and if you couldn’t tick all the boxes, well then you just weren’t a “good” parent. So what happened when all of us liberated babies from the 80’s grew up and didn’t finish their Uni degrees, let alone buy a house, and got married with 3 of their children in the bridal party? Or when the catholic ones came out of the closet? What about the ones busted for shoplifting booze or worse? Or, heaven forbid, those who got pregnant at 19? Does this mean that every parent who has a child that doesn’t play by socially acceptable rules is “unsuccessful”?What Is A Successful Parent | Stay at Home Mum

It really shocked me that this term was thrown around on national TV. Even Mr Branson couldn’t claim to be a successful parent, stating he didn’t really know what that was. I’m guessing it’s when you, and your child, have done all the “right” things. Kids are academically brilliant and superstar athletes, attending private schools and excelling in extra-curricular activities. No one in the family is ever stressed, or grumpy or yells at each other, the family dynamic is harmonious and full of respect, patience and love for each other. The home is immaculate, bills are paid on time, we all gather in the kitchen to make biscuits and family-friendly dinners. Kids grow up to be super successful in all areas, mirroring their upbringing with stellar careers, blissful marriages and more beautiful children to carry on the legacy of perfection. All the boxes are ticked, right? Your successful parenting label has been achieved, or so it would appear from looking in. So does it all end there? Do you pat yourself on the back for a job well done and that’s it?

Call me crazy, but I believe being a parent is just making sure everyone is happy, and that nobody kills each other, or anybody else! I don’t believe there is such a thing as being a successful parent, because how do you measure or evaluate something that never, ever ends? You’re a parent for life, successful or not, the only person’s opinion on whether or not you’ve earnt yourself a gold star, is yourself.

Clancy Briggs has been “learning on the job” since becoming a Mum 11 years ago. She struggles daily with her role in the home as well as in the world and is a self-proclaimed “sporadically irresponsible” parent! She lives with her 3 gorgeously feral children, her long-suffering husband and their domestic zoo, is seriously addicted to chocolate and the idea that someday she will find her inner enlightenment and everything in her life will run smoothly! (Which is highly unlikely now she is expecting her fourth little bundle of “joy” on her birthday at the end of October!).

 

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Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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