Why You Have To Teach Children To Be Happy, Not To Be Perfectionists

When we raise our children, we often tend to want them to be perfect and do things exactly and as we feel they need to be done. We note the...

When we raise our children, we often tend to want them to be perfect and do things exactly and as we feel they need to be done. We note their mistakes and share our criticisms. This way of doing things with them may seem trivial, because basically, we want only their good. However, it represents a real danger for their development. These children may develop an inner voice echoing ours, calling them to always excel. However, the search for perfection can be disabling and is often an obstacle to happiness.

Perfection does not necessarily lead to happiness

To expect perfection from a child is to impose on him an immense burden.

To be demanding is also to condemn the child to live countless failures, because no human being is free of defects and no one is able to always perfectly succeed.

By instilling in children a perfectionist ideal, we have every chance of making them sad, dissatisfied and frustrated. What is better? This or imperfections, of course, but a better self-confidence, joy and enthusiasm?

The sad story of Quintus Sulpicius Maximus

In Rome, you can visit a rather special grave. It is surmounted by a monument and here is what we can read:

"This is Quintus Sulpicius Maximus, son of Quintus, of the Claudian tribe, residing in Rome, who lived 11 years, 5 months and 12 days. During the third five-year contest, among 52 Greek poets, he won the graces of the public because of his great talent at such a young age.

What makes this story a tragedy is that this child, who had extraordinary gifts for poetry, was taken by his parents to many literary and poetry competitions where the young man had to participate in front of adults .

It is said that he died of exhaustion, shortly after having failed in this last contest, mentioned on the monument erected in his memory. He could not meet his parents' expectations.

The story of this young man is a perfect illustration of the disastrous consequences of being too demanding of parents towards their children.

Wanting the best for your children often makes us forget their well-being

The challenge of educating children is to make them sane and confident in the world, rising to the challenges and moving forward. If we are so obsessed with their perfection, it's probably because we want the best for them. But this obsession turns children's attention to the future, leaving their present happiness behind. We lock them up not only in our own desires, but we want them to feel locked up, frustrated, and blocked.

How to promote the happiness of our children?

1. Take care of our language and the attitude we have towards them
Children learn by mimicry. Whatever our attitude, our language, our way of being, our children will imitate them. If we are a critical and very strict person with ourselves, even being "cool" with our children, they may subconsciously imitate us and apply this strict and critical attitude to themselves.

2. Be cautious about the expectations we project on them
Let's recognize the efforts of children and do not spoil while constantly looking for the little beast. When our children succeed in one thing, let's compliment them and congratulate them. Focusing on what they could have done better is counterproductive. Let's face it: no one acts perfectly. On the other hand, it is not by focusing on the negative that we promote progress, but by encouraging and valuing the progress made so far.

3. Let's also allow them to fail
Let's show our children that an error is not the end of the world! Let them learn to outdo each other by playing down chess. Let us value the effort provided and not the result. Thus, they will feel less apprehension and have the freedom to make mistakes. They will launch more easily and this will encourage them to start again.

Fear of failure is dangerous because it is disabling and destroys self-confidence.

Children are not machines. They have their own emotions, their own desires and their own aspirations. Let's be tolerant, understanding and reward the efforts of our children.

If there were to be only one, the antidote to perfectionism would certainly be to be happy, with them, the successes of our children, big and small.
Why You Have To Teach Children To Be Happy, Not To Be Perfectionists

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