Saturday, 12 September 2015


My mum gave me a newspaper clipping this week about the late English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott who specialised in researching stages of a child's development and parenting. Published over 70 years ago he wrote about the 'good enough mother' - someone who tried their best but who inevitably failed at times.

I feel I'm the 'good enough' mother, as no matter how hard I try at this parenting malarky things just seem to go wrong. For example the first day back at school last week we turned the house over looking for number 2 son's PE shirt, couldn't find it anywhere even though I was sure I had vowed to wash it and put it back in his bag at the beginning of the school holidays. A day later and I've forgotten to take up number 1 son's school trousers so grandma had to save the day.

Donald Winnicott said that parenting failure made children learn to stand on their own two feet and produce stable adults, he believed that when mothers tried to do things by the book, "they loose touch with their own ability to act without knowing what is right and what is wrong."

My boys see me get things wrong all the time, they know that I'm often late, that sometimes tea is rustled up from rubbery veg found at the bottom of the fridge and when asked to help them with maths I use my fingers to count times tables secretly under the table (always have!) So based on my track record, surely they should turn out alright?

p.s. Do share your thoughts, what's your biggest parenting fail? Do you agree with Dr. Winnicott or do you believe in doing things by the book?

1 comment:

  1. Mine are turning out pretty good considering! I believe they accept me worts and all, and the failings make for great 'do you remember when?' stories later in life.


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