Perfectionism in Parenting
Becoming a parent is the most anticipated and exciting event in most people’s lives. As humans we innately strive to be the best, and therefore aim for perfectionism.
Parenting doesn't have to be perfect.
As adults we often mix our identities with our kids’, and what they do becomes a reflection of our own identities. In many cultures this narrative shapes the way the parents are viewed in their own circles or communities, and as a result we forget that parenting CAN be fun, and that kids ARE in fact individuals with their own identity and personalities.
As kids get older, they start to have their opinions on how they want to dress, want is placed around the house, and even which sports they might like to play. As adults, we have learned to control and choose so many aspects of our life, it can be often a challenging shift to learn the art of guiding our kids versus dictating what, and how, they do things.
Leaving room for curiosity, open and messy play, making mistakes, and learning different methods to get to an end result, are all very beneficial in your child’s developmental progress, and the way in which they are better equipped to navigate the world they will live within.
As parents, with good intention, we always want to be and do the best for our kids, to a point that we forget that actually, modeling real life is the closes thing to perfect parenting. Modeling apologizing to our kids, making mistakes and learning from them, are great aspects for kids to learn through observation.
Practicing self care as a parent also helps us practice mindfulness, breath, and re-evaluate which values are important in the household, and finding a balance between focus on our top priorities, while leaving room for the unexpected.
Some E.L.O. Deck cards that relate to letting go of perfectionism include:
- I am grateful
- I am curious, I ask questions
- I do my best
- I always try again
- Mistakes help me learn
This week's activity prompt is for you, the adult, as a parent, or teacher.
Take time to journal and write down 5 moments where you thought you 'failed' or didn't achieve your goal. Then write down something positive that came out of that experience. This will help highlight moments of beauty and help shift your perspective. What was once seen as inadequacy will appear to you as resilience and end up to be the building blocks to your life.