Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Parenting trap #1 - Perfection

What is with parents wanting nothing but the best for their children? Is good not good enough anymore? Why suddenly there is a desire for everything to be perfect? Either it’s the best school, best pediatrician, best tutor to even best prospective life partner. Does good not satiate our desires? The world around me is split into two the one with that have the best and the other striving for the best.

Competition is great and in any form would be healthy not only for the mind but also for the soul. But the question that has been going on in my head is if excellence too has the same effect? The idea of perfection is not frightening, while the idea of desiring perfection for others is asking a bit too much I guess.

We as parents want to give our children the best school, but are they worthy of it? Why not let the child prove his or her caliber in academics. We would buy the best of the branded clothes, take them best vacations or dine in the at best restaurants. But are telling them how much it costs to afford this best lifestyle?

I grew up in an environment where my parents tried their best to give me a good opportunity in everything and expected me to excel in studies. This I felt was reasonable, but somewhere from then to now things have changed and the reason being our aspirations.

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This new age parenting is a bit scary for me, we are training our children to be the best. But what are not teaching is how to get there and also understand the value of ones failures, that too many positives.  How else would the youngsters understand what it takes to be best at something, if we don’t guide them towards the right path.

I don't know why are putting ourselves and our loved ones through this pressure. We parents love to celebrate the A grades. If the child didn't win, then we wouldn't tell that child had even competed to save ourselves of the embarrassment of acknowledging that someone else was better. It is as if we are telling our children, there is no point participating if you cannot win it.

Now more than ever the youngsters must understand the concept of discipline, dedication, practice, punctuality, consistency and teach them to find positives from a failure. It is important to help them understand that we are not perfect. Even if we make mistakes, we have a share in everything that's happens to us, good and bad.


The journey of our life may not be perfect, but we will eventually reach where we want to be. We have to be careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence is what we should aim for and teach our children, perfection will follow us with persistence, patience, and by prioritising our passion.

14 comments:

  1. Loved reading your posts. I too feel the same way about 'new age parenting' and the more I see it, the more disheartening I feel. Glad to know there are others who are thinking on those lines as I am.

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    1. Swapna, it is really scary when i see kids flaunting expensive clothes, gadgets without even realizing how much effort goes in earning that money. It is eventually a parenting failure letting them live in a la-la land ..

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  2. I agree with your views. Sometimes, the best isn't what is good for the child. It either intimidates them or spoils them, whereas they would've been more successful and happier, given a different option.

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    1. True Kiran I wish if parents understood this!

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  3. The worst part is when parents brag about everything they are providing...Values they instil are more important than costly gadgets!

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    1. Jaish - you nailed it girl !! Unfortunately it's so easy to fall into these traps .. I just hope and pray that we never fall into such traps :D

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  4. I agree totally with you, here. Kids should be trained to live in this world and stand head on and tackle obstacles, overcome the problems and make the right choices. Unfortunately, we seem to teach them how to run away from reality immersing themselves in the virtual world. Sad.

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    1. There are lessons to be learnt from failures too, then why run away from it ??

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  5. Nice post here Sangeeta ...
    I found it surprising when parents brag or even if they feel it in their hearts... We tend to forget that Competition ought to be healthy.. from within in the sense of "if he can do it perhaps i should also give it a try ... let's see" and not demanding like " if he is doing why can't you ?" Its the values and the self-discipline which will help them . Lets be the role-models for them and not the nagging demanding monsters.

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    1. True Kokila and this peer pressure can sometimes kill the best of competitive spirit ..

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  6. now that you mention about how we are bringing up the kids i think i was born at the right time when parents brought the kids properly these days its more of molly coddling ..

    Bikram's

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    1. I think the trouble is Bikram we are too busy in trying to get ahead in life, that we are not spending quality time to help understand our children and ourselves .. this is when materialistic things become more relevant than love and value ..

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  7. Sometimes, it may also be the case that parents want their children to have the best of everything because they weren't privileged enough to experience them while they were growing up. Same goes for parents who push their children to strive for perfection, to become the absolute best - because that's exactly what they weren't.

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  8. There has to be a balance between giving everything to children on a platter. They need to be made aware of the hard work, dedication that goes in earning money and affording the best schools, restaurants etc. Else they wouldn't care at all.

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