Why Do We Need Perfection All The Time? I Don’t Want This Word For My Kids!

Posted: May 10, 2017

As parents, we run behind perfection from our kids, and in the process, forget to let them be kids and also learn some valuable lessons growing up.

Everyone seems to want perfection these days, especially from kids. But I bat for imperfection. You may ask – how can someone want imperfections? It might sound as if I’m a lazy mom, but I am happy with the tag!

Okay, let’s see another side of the story.

Last week I was helping my 5-year-old to finish her homework. She was given a few three letter words to write in her workbook. I noticed that she was constantly erasing her written work and striving hard to write it better. She has recently learned to write three letter words, and even with limited time, she is still doing it.

I interfered and asked her, “Why you are doing this unnecessary work of erasing and writing again and again?” She replied, “Then I will not get three stars on my work!” Even at her PTM, the teacher had told me, “She writes with so much perfection!”

I was dumbstruck. Why does she always need three stars on her work? I told her calmly, “Write the way you can and don’t look for things which you cannot do with the limited time frame. It’s completely OKAY if you get two stars or even one at times”.

Honestly, I really dread this word “Perfection” because I there is another word closely associated with it, “Stress”.

At a certain point of life, I have encountered this word very closely. I just don’t want them to be perfect in studies, perfect in sports, perfect with communication, perfect in art, perfect in dance, and so on. I know expectations have no boundaries and ultimately this word will swallow you one day!

Years back there was the time when this word perfection was my top priority. Perfection in looking good, a spic and span house, perfection in cooking, perfection in office work, perfection in almost all possible areas where I wanted to do something. I was the degree holder of the so-called tag of superwoman and completing every task at the drop of the hat.

With time, to achieve this perfection, I added one more degree of perfection – the perfect multi-tasker. If you want to gorge on a perfect meal and same time you want your house to look amazing within the limited time, then multitasking is inevitable.

And really nothing wrong on those surveys which have claimed that multitasking is giving way to stress.

With this habit, I reached to a point where I was completely stressed and and by the time I realized the situation, I was already trapped. The first question that came from the Doctor was, “Are you the perfectionist type?” Till that time I did not know that this word had the power which to lead a person to their downfall.

I know everybody wants perfection with their work and probably it’s the need of the hour. But ultimately this is killing us. Let the perfection come with at its own pace. It’s not necessary that everyone be perfect everywhere. I learned it with my experience and accepted the fact that sometimes it’s better to accept the things as they are.

Even perfection has its own limitations!

Being a mother of two, I know how much pressure children have in their daily lives – a perfect handwriting, a perfect project, a perfect artwork, …and the list is endless.

But for me, it’s a little different. So whenever they do their artwork, projects and school homework my only advice is, yes, do it properly. Not to get stars of perfection, but for your knowledge. And if there is something which they cannot attempt, then do as much as you can. I don’t make their projects and don’t write for them, and it’s very much clear from my end!

These projects and artwork, why do I need to make them perfect, just to showcase them? When I know my eight year old and five years old cannot do the same way as I can? Let them write in their own writing whether it’s good or bad! Let them fix things in their own manner even though if it looks lopsided or weird. I feel that every child and every person are different, and its OK.

We end up running in the rat race just to get our 2 minutes of fame. But ultimately it will not have any value. Why compare and create unnecessary havoc? That doesn’t mean that children should not go to extracurricular classes and not participate in competitions. They should, with the understanding that winning is not the ultimate end to everything. Life is much more than that. Let them enjoy their childhood as free as they can with no stress to achieve any goal.

As a mother, I don’t want my children to align themselves with the line of perfection. I want them to let learn with time and if they really want perfection for specified things it would be completely their choice and how they individually work hard to get it.

In the end, what matters to me is their nature, and how they nurture themselves as good human beings, as the creative child or as a fun-loving kid rather than degrees of perfect dining manners, as children who never miss projects, who always get 100% marks and who carry unlimited certificates of appreciation.

I am completely happy with their messy book racks and uneven drawing sheets and not snapping their wings to fly high without knowing the word “Perfect”.

Published here earlier.

Image source: flickr, for representational purposes only.

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