Perfect parenting is tiring when external expectations strongly influence life – the researcher encourages parents to define their values

According to a study by the University of Jyväskylä, parents have a clear understanding of good parenting principles. Many moms and dads, however, are faced with a conflict between their values ​​and the demands of society.

More than 1400 mums and dads took part in a survey by the University of Jyväskylä on the topic of ideal parenting. The survey showed that modern Finns have formed clear ideas about what an ideal parent should be.

– Such a person spends time with a child, pays attention to him, does various interesting things with him, for example, shows him animals and so on, – the metropolitan dad describes the ideal parent Jesse Vianska .

– The main thing is intimacy, warmth, love, care. Each parent is unique and each is the best for their own child, adds mom and grandmother Sonia Linnala-Mattila .

Parents feel that society is demanding more and more of them. According to the survey, especially highly educated mothers tend to believe that society demands too much from them and often these expectations are quite contradictory.

– According to expectations, the ideal parent should have a good education, earn good money, do everything, manage the household, do not be selfish, always be there. One might wonder where these settings come from. This is the desire of the parents themselves for the ideal, the desire to be the best in everything. This is also the pressure of social attitudes, a consequence of changes in working life, the influence of social networks and family politics. The ideal parent is a collective image within the framework of all of the above, says Kaisa Aunola , Professor at the Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Jyväskylä

From the point of view of the mental well-being of the parents themselves, it is important to prioritize and determine your own values ​​in order to build life around them.

– If wealth and career are secondary to you, you should not chase them, even if others do exactly. Problems arise when people, to the detriment of their own values, try to achieve things that are customary to admire in our society. People create these values ​​themselves, that is, you need to understand what social norms you want to support with your behavior, explains Aunola.