The Joys and Sorrows of Parenting: 26 Essays to Reassure and Console

The Joys and Sorrows of Parenting: 26 Essays to Reassure and Console

About the Author The School of Life is devoted to developing emotional intelligence. It addresses issues such as how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to understand one’s past, how to achieve calm and how better to understand and – where necessary – change the world. These ideas are delivered though a range of channels: from videos, books and products, to classes, events and one-to-one therapy sessions.Headquartered in London, it operates around the globe with twelve international branches (Antwerp, Amsterdam, Berlin, Istanbul, Melbourne, Paris, São Paulo, Sydney, Seoul, Tel Aviv and Taipei). The School of Life is a rapidly growing global brand, with 3.6 million YouTube subscribers, 293,000 Facebook followers, 68,000 Instagram followers and 138,000 Twitter followers. The first US School of Life Conference took place in San Francisco in March 2018. Over three days 400 attendees took part in interactive lectures and philosophical debate. Our next conference will be held in LA, March 2019.The School of Life Press brings together the writing of teachers, psychologists and philosophers under the creative direction of series editor, Alain de Botton. The aim of all the titles is to share a coherent message with one voice.Alain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1969 and now lives in London. He is a writer of essayistic books that have been described as a ‘philosophy of everyday life.’ He’s written on love, travel, architecture and literature. His books have been bestsellers in 30 countries. Read more Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. The good enough parentThe mid-20th century English psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, who specialised in working with parents and children, was disturbed by how often he encountered in his consulting rooms parents who were deeply disappointed with themselve. They felt they were failing as parents and hated themselves as a result. They were ashamed of their occasional rows, their bursts of short temper, their times of boredom around their own child, their many mistakes. They were haunted by a range of anxious questions: are we too strict, too lenient, too protective, not protective enough? What struck Winnicott, however, was that these people were almost always not at all bad parents. They were not, by some ideal standard, perfect, but they were – as he, came to put it – ‘good enough’.Strangely, ‘good enough’ is better than perfect, because a child will live the rest of their life in a very imperfect world. We cannot get on if we are dependent on those around us living up to the highest unimaginable ideals. The good enough parent is at times irate, stupid, a bit unfair, a bit tired or a touch depressed. There will be delays, confusions, mistakes, outbursts of irritation – and always (or almost always, which is enough) a background of deep love and good intentions. Read more

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