Perfectly Imperfect: Teach Your Children About Imperfection
We think we have to be perfect. Is this the case? What if instead of getting everything right on the first try, it’s sometimes better to make mistakes? Could imperfection actually be better than perfection? More importantly – how does this relate to our parenting?
Perfection is something we need to be concerned about. Our every action teaches our children something about the world. What we do when we make mistakes will guide them the rest of their lives. They will naturally mimic our response when they make mistakes for themselves. With this in mind, what should we teach our children about imperfection?
Take More Risks
If you have kids who tend toward perfectionism, then chances are they’re not likely to enjoy trying new things. After all, to their way of thinking, they don’t know if the new way will be something they like or not, so it’s better not to take a chance.
When you want to teach your children about the joys of imperfection, the first thing you need to do is show them it’s OK to take risks. Model this behavior by showing them how much you enjoy trying new things. Invite them to taste new foods, experiment with art, and go places they have never been before. Praise and acknowledge them when they take chances on new things. Of course, sometimes, these experiments might not work out. When this happens, these experiences can become a teaching tool about how imperfection leads us to new knowledge.
Kids can be very fragile when it comes to how they feel you view them. When they make mistakes, their first reaction is to worry whether you will still like them or not. Here is an opportunity to use imperfection to show them you still love them unconditionally, whether they’re perfect or not.
As your kids start to get older and spend more time with their peers, one of the biggest things that plagued them will be worry about how the world sees them. Even while they accept your love, they have a hard time accepting their peers like them. When these worries arise, it’s natural for the children to put up a facade of perfection. Here is where you need to encourage them to be themselves, imperfections and all. It is this honesty that will draw their peers toward them.
Last, but most important, is the ability to have fun. Imperfection drives us to keep working harder and harder at the same thing. Imperfection allows your child to let go and enjoy the process. Good enough is good enough. It’s better to laugh and play than to worry endlessly about getting it right.
Teach your children these things, and they will succeed far better in life than they ever would have if they’d instead been taught to pursue perfection. They’ll be much happier, too.
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