Parenting Without the Guilt and Drama

Parenting Without the Guilt and Drama


Perfectly Imperfect Parenting is a practical and accessible guide which will help parents get into the right frame of mind for effective parenting without making them feel guilty or inadequate in their desire to be the best parent they can be.

The argument is that parenting is not about perfection. Instead, it is about being there for your child and connecting with them.

With wisdom distilled from more than a decade of working with families, Dr Mary O’Kane, Lecturer in Psychology and Early Childhood Studies with the Open University, provides a framework for parents who want to raise children to thrive in the modern world.

Appropriately called, Perfectly Imperfect Parenting – Connection Not Perfection, this book is grounded in how neuroscience and evidence-based research supports the idea that our children’s brains need unconditional love to thrive. It explores how you can provide this intimacy and nurturing so you too can feel that sense of connection between parent and child.

Mary reminds us that the quest for perfection can turn into a quest for control. Instead, she outlines how we can ‘scaffold’ our children’s development, just as scaffolding is used on a building to support it during construction. The book covers various areas of social and emotional development, from secure attachments and building resilience, to developing friendships. It also looks at some of the most common parenting challenges we face today, from parenting with patience and supporting anxious children, to parenting in the online world.

A background of love and affection, underpinned with scientifically proven advice, is what we need to fully support our children. The key point is that children develop within relationships and strong connections will result in the blossoming of their social and emotional development.

This book provides the knowledge and tools to support parents in one of the greatest challenges of life: how to support children to have confidence and courage; to show empathy and kindness; to believe in themselves and others; and become strong and capable adults.

Mary’s book is available to purchase on her website and from Amazon.

Mary will host two talks via Zoom and which are both free for parents on:

Tuesday 10th August: Supporting Teens Starting Secondary School

Thursday 26th August: Raising Resilient Children.

Both are via zoom, so all parents can attend, but places must be booked by emailing:


‘Get ready to read your favourite book on parenting! I could hear Mary’s voice in my head as I read, each page sings with sage advice.’ – Karen Koster, Ireland AM

‘This book has all the attributes that make Mary so popular on Radio and TV; tremendous knowledge leavened with pragmatism and empathy. Best of all the book is positive and full of the warmth and fun that Mary brings to everything she does; parents will put this down and feel informed, enlightened and energised.’ – Anton Savage

‘Dr Mary O’Kane is my kind of parenting expert – pragmatic and warm with kindness core and centre to all her practical advice – as she reminds us that imperfect parenting is, actually, pretty perfect.’ – Jen Hogan

‘Being a parent is one of the most challenging roles any of us can assume in life but it is safe to say after reading (and re-reading) Perfectly Imperfect Parenting I am much better equipped for the job! Thank you, Mary.’ – Alison Curtis