This is one of the hardest things for me as a parent.
Yes, we need to have goals, expectations, aspirations for ourselves and our children. We expect ourselves to be compassionate and clear, we expect them to be polite and reasonable. And we need to know that these goals, expectations, and aspirations won't necessarily be reached. I'll be cranky and self-absorbed sometimes. They will be rude.
My intent to be compassionate is a guide that leads me through the cracks even though I am sometimes less-than-compassionate. My goal to have a strong connection with my child guides me, even, especially when our actual connection feels a bit weak. And my goal to raise loving and strong children guides me, even in those (inevitable) moments when they are not acting loving or strong.
My life and work are guided by the these core understandings: that all beings (including me!) are capable of transformation and joy, that healthy parenting matters profoundly, and that simple practices can support each of us.