Many new parents have the feeling that they must be perfect at parenting or they will “ruin” their child for life.

• They worry about how to feed the baby
?• They worry about how to play with their child?
• They worry about toilet training?
• They worry about sleeping arrangements

These parents [usually new parents] don’t want to feel like failures or bad parents. They don’t want friends, colleagues, in-laws, or neighbors thinking they are not doing well at parenting or are the world’s worst parents.

What these parents have done is fall into the competitive trap that we in the United States have about parenting!
This is the myth that a parent is successful and perfect ONLY IF their child is ahead of all other children on all standard measurements.

So they look to “experts,” their own parents, in-laws, neighbors and even strangers for guidance on parenting.
They buy books on teaching a child to be toilet trained by age 1, or on how to teach your child walk -- because they don’t want their child to be “behind” on developmental norms for toilet training and walking.

These parents absolutely do not want their child to lag behind on language and cognitive development so they buy books about making their child smarter or having a higher IQ. Some programs even guarantee this increase in the IQ and still others tell you to start working on this IQ increase before your child is born.

So what is a new parent to do?

First: stop, take a deep breath, relax and think about YOUR child and add in a healthy dose of common sense.
Your child is unique. It has its own set of genetics, its own family constellation, its own personality, and its own "me-ness."

And think about this: When you have your child, at some point you will hear the “but mooooommy everyone else is doing x, y, or z.”

You said this yourself when you were a kid and you knew it was not true then and it’s not true when your own child says it – so why then believe the ads that tell you “everyone” needs to buy this book, program or whatever?

And what do you say to those well-meaning persons in your life when they suggest all these products to you? Smile, say thank you...and in the back of your mind repeat his mantra: I am a good parent, I love my kid for who she is.”

You will have a lot of practice saying this during your pregnancy.

And when the well-meaning people actually give you some of these books and programs for gifts? Smile, say thank you and say to yourself: “I am a good parent, I love my kid for who she is.”

It is perfectly fine to be a hypocrite.

It is not perfectly fine to try to be perfect.

Author's Bio: 

And now I invite you to go to:
Make Mistakes; Raise Great Kids where you can read about my take on parenting and sign up for information on the release of my book: You Can Totally Screw Up As A Mom And Still Raise Great Kids.

From Lynn Dorman, Ph.D., the anti-expert expert who dispenses advice and other useful bits of wisdom such as: it’s fine to teach your child hypocrisy at Parenting 201.