FLY Parenting: Perfectionism and Children

Dear Friends,

This week we are in Zone 3. This is the main bathroom and another room in the house. For those of you with children, this will be the other room.

Before any of you go into the children’s rooms this week to do the missions, please keep in mind that they are children and need to be taught what to do. Children will model what they see. If they see the rest of the house is cluttered and chaotic, then their rooms are likely to be as well.

There are so many of you that have written to us and said how as children you were told to go and do something again, because what you had done wasn’t good enough or had someone go and re-do what you had done because it wasn’t up to their standards.

As parents we have a tendency to expect more from our children that what we expect from ourselves. We expect them to be perfect when we aren’t. Why? They are children not adults. This is why WE have to set the example.

My Mom is a Born Organized person and it has driven her crazy for years to understand how she could have born a SHE for a child. Mom would send me to my room with the instructions to “clean it up” I did what I thought was cleaning up and then she would come and “fix” what I did not do or what I did that was wrong. Now my Mom is a great person and I am not criticizing her, what I am saying is that she expected me to know what she wanted but never taught me how and then her perfectionism kicked in. A Born Organized person just instinctively knows what needs to be done and in what order it needs to be done in. Setting the example of how to clean and how to keep things clean would have made a huge difference for me.

How many of you actually see yourself when you read those words? Do you expect your child to know what clean is? So how do you break the habit when dealing with your children?

There is a common phrase among parents to their children “All I expect is for you to do your very best” there is nothing wrong with this statement as long as you recognize that it is THEIR very best you are asking for and not YOUR expectations of their very best. You have to allow your child to be an individual and not the perfect vision of who you think they should be. If you have sent your child to clean their room and you don’t think they have done their best, ask yourself why first!! Do they know how? Have you taught them? Do they know your expectations? Are your expectations too high? Have you set the example? You are on this list because you need help and direction, isn’t it possible that your children need that as well?

Someone recently said to me “I wish parents could remember how they felt when they were kids…” the thing is that we do remember when it is about us, but strangely enough we forget when it comes to our own children.

Don’t teach your children to become perfectionists and martyrs. You are trying to break your own habits after years and years, think of the gift that you will be giving them by breaking the cycle now.

Work with your children when they are helping with chores in the house, praise their efforts if you find you can’t praise the work. Don’t tear them down and make them feel as though their contribution was insignificant. Let them know that they are appreciated and valued. Teach them to love and value themselves by setting the example of loving yourself and letting go of the perfectionism.

Your mission for today is to hug your child/children individually and tell them how very proud you are of them just for being who they are.

 

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