Parents: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect, But You Can Find Alternatives to Alcohol and Drugs to Relieve Stress

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To the editor:

Do we have to be perfect as parents? Absolutely not. We do have to be self-aware and remain conscious of what we’re modeling for our children. And along the way, when as a result of our imperfections we misstep, we should take time to recognize our mistakes and show our kids that we can accept responsibility and grow. Yes, parents are still learning to.

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The good enough parent is a concept deriving from the work of D. W. Winnicott, in his efforts to provide support for what he called “sound instincts of normal parents … stable and healthy families.”

Winnicott defends the concept of the ordinary mother and father by stressing the importance of a nurturing environment and encouraging parents to take some of the pressure off themselves and their kids about doing and having it all.

Today parents, young people and families are often under tremendous pressure to do a lot, be great at a lot and manage a lot: socially, financially, emotionally, academically, athletically and more.

That can often create a pressure cooker of stress for everyone. Finding healthy ways to combat stress and anxiety can be difficult for some. Many parents and teens turn to alcohol or even drugs to alleviate stress.

At 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 20 at Darien Library Dr. Rob Turrisi from the Prevention Research Center at Pennsylvania State University will be offering some guidance for parents. He will provide some insight and information on how to talk to your kids about alcohol use and abuse.

Denise Qualey, MSW
Managing Director, Kids in Crisis, 24-hour helpline: 203.661.1911
Member of the Darien Thriving Youth Task Force

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