Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Do the Best You Can

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Do the Best You Can

Article excerpt

Byline: By Marie Turbill Evening Gazette

As a new book claims mums and dads are being put under increasing pressure to be "perfect" Marie Turbill asks the Gazette's own Supermam, Claire Silvers, what it really takes to be a good parent.

Claire Silvers is only too aware of the nightmares that come from being the mum of two lively youngsters.

She might be the Gazette's own Supermam offering tips on how to deal with those family agonies but she says her own family life doesn't go without the odd hitch.

"I know exactly what parents are talking about when they write to me," says Claire who lives near Darlington, with husband Carl and their two children, Louis, three, and Leilah, two.

"My daughter is currently surgically attached to her brother's Thomas the Tank Engine wellies.

"Even after the bath those wellies go back on even though they are far too big and I have to put three extra pairs of socks on her."

This is what Claire refers to as just one of her children's "little quirks".

If putting the wellies back on saves a tantrum then she says it is a small price to pay.

For despite being "the expert" Claire says she learnt long ago that there is no such thing as a perfect parent.

The trick she says is to simply do "the best you can for your children".

She adds that sometimes taking the time to relax and remembering to enjoy time spent with your family is the best thing you can do.

However, according to authors Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders, mums and dads are feeling increasingly pressured to be "perfect parents".

In their book, The Madness Of Modern Families, out this month, they blame a plethora of parenting experts and glossy magazines filled with photos of immaculately groomed celebrity 'Yummy Mummies' for the increasing pressure, and for turning raising kids into a competitive business.

"I think we've all rather lost our perspective after being bombarded with so much information about how we should all be doing things," says Annie.

"We're all trying to prove ourselves, for all kinds of reasons, through our children, and I think we need to stand back and think 'hang on a minute, it doesn't have to be this difficult'. …

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