Parents often hold themselves up to impeccable standards of parenting and not only are they idealistic, but they are also impossible. Research has found a culture of picture-perfect parenting causes more than half of Irish parents to feel like they are failing within the first year of parenthood with mothers more likely to feel this way than fathers.
A deceptive representation of parenting in culture and social media have led to one-fifth of parents feeling like film and TV are key contributors and two-fifths of parents feel advertising is a contributor. Similarly, two-fifths of parents believe social media adds to the pressure to be a perfect parent. More than half admit to putting on a brave face rather than being honest about their reality, also feel as though they cannot relate to the parenting images they see on social media. More pointedly, with mothers feeling this more than fathers (59% vs 48%).
Chartered psychologist and parenting expert Niamh Hannan said: “Irish parents clearly feel under huge pressure to get it right. I’d go so far to say that there is a cult of perfectionism around parenting.
With the quest to become the perfect parent comes the quest to have the perfect child. Parents gripping another false perception - existing only in one’s imagination.