Do we see that as failure?
Not at all. We get excited at the effort they are making and we know those steps are the beginning of a new skill. We celebrate their progress.
Why then, when our children are older, and they figuratively take two steps and fall down learning a new skill (how to manage their time, how to be responsible with their money, how to do their homework on their own) do we see that as failure? Why are we impatient? Frustrated? Angry?
Why? Because the perfection infection in parenting has set in.
We compare them to other kids. Our expectations are unrealistic. We don’t know what is a healthy expectation for their age. We are tired, low on grace, and even lower on patience.
Deep down, we want perfection rather than progress.
Granted, an older child’s “falls” carry more weight than a 1 year old learning to walk. There are grades at stake, integrity and character issues, and as they get older their choices affect college possibilities, jobs, and their future in general.
Yet, what if we kept our eye out for progress and celebrated it when we saw it…no matter how small the baby step might be? What if our kids could count on us to be their biggest cheerleader, no matter how often they fall? What if we saw “making mistakes” as the progress that it really is?
When we apply the antidotes to Perfection Infection Parenting, we accomplish just that. CLAP: Compassion, Love, Acceptance, and Perception; these antidotes make our home and family a safe place to be.
Compassion: I’m trying to feel what you’re feeling.
Love: I love you no matter what.
Acceptance: You belong to me and this family no matter what.
Perception: I see you and I’m in tune with what’s going on with you.
Apply these antidotes and you’re on your way to celebrate progress and leave the expectation of perfection behind!
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What about you? Of the four antidotes listed above, which one do you need to include more in your parenting?
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