THEY MYTH OF THE PERFECT KID By Tim Walker
We parents are an emotional, neurotic mess, aren’t we? Sure, some of us are better at hiding
it than others, but push the right button or confront the right issue, and every one of us comes
to a point when we feel . . . helpless. Clueless. Lost.
We thought we knew so much. But there comes a point when we’re not quite sure how to navigate
as parents. We know we’re not perfect, just ask our kids. So why do we expect our kids to be
perfect? Before you shake your head and say “not me,” think about this:
Do you ever see them fail?
Maybe your toddler starts pitching a fit because he wants another cookie. Or you find out
your daughter is being mean to another girl in her class. Every kid will fail at some point. Why?
Because they’re not perfect. They will do something we don’t want them to do. Or they will
not measure up. Or they will make the wrong choice. Let’s face it. Sometimes our little angels are
less than angelic.
Do you ever expect more of your kids than what is age-appropriate?
Would you expect your three-month-old infant to be potty trained? Your 12-year- old to know how
to drive a car? When it comes to my kids, my first reaction is “you should know better.” And
sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they don’t have the life experience to know what to do in
a situation. Or they’ve never been taught. Sometimes they just simply don’t know. Your kids
are in process. You are too.
Do you ever encourage them to be more perfect than real?
Is your family a place where doubt can exist? Or opinions? Do our kids feel like they need to put
up a front with us? Are we communicating to our kids with our words or actions that what they
believe right now (which is in process, remember) isn’t as important as what we believe? Because
if we don’t give them space to doubt or question, belief may never become something that is
internal, or personal to them.
As a parent, you know you’re not perfect. You’re aware of where you fall short. But the reality is
your kids aren’t either. Let them be human. Let them be in process. Guide them. Direct them.
Instruct them. But also realize that sometimes they will act their age, and show their humanity.
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and parenting resources, visit: ParentCue.org