Hi Mom Friends, its been a day right?
Seems like every day has been a day. Nothing is quite going right, all the balls won't stay in the air, and we're just not getting the results we want to see from any effort we put in, and that is frustrating as heck. (Also, working mom friends, just copy and paste this over to the imaginary work blog, right? 😒). It's hard not to lay in bed at night (or in the am as we slowly become aware to life) and replay over how we could have done things better, how we're struggling to get the people around us to be doing better, to balance or prioritize or perform better. Why can't we just get to the place where we can do all that we need to do in exactly the way we want it to be done?!
Oh right, that's perfection and it's a soul sucking lie. That's why.
Another deep sigh.
It's tough. It's tough to know that we have visions of greatness for ourselves that are not realistic because we're carrying too much, because perfection isn't possible, and because we want our kids to see us do amazing things, for their sakes and ours. The flip of this is, our kids see us try to be perfect, expect perfect from ourselves, and then be disappointed when we don't reach that. It can feel like a catch-22 or a sick joke. Let's just be real about it. It's. TOUGH.
So, here's the friendly also-a-mom-here-too-and-I-feel-you encouragement, let's not. Let's not engage with the sick joke as much as humanly possible. Let's give up on perfection. Let's focus on excellence. Let's be KIND to ourselves, for at least one instance through the day. No, everything is not going to look how we want it. Everyone is not going to behave the way we want them to. WE aren't going to behave the way we want. And also, we're lacking a heck of a lot of resources. And it is so right now.
So here, in this moment of toughness and reality and deep sighs, let's turn to kindness for ourselves and our kids.
It can quickly become a chicken or egg question: should we be practicing kindness with ourselves first, so that we can model it to our kids, or should we focus on our parenting and hope to assimilate it for ourselves? We like the first way, personally, as it's well known that we have to care for ourselves first before we can really care for others. You can't pour from an empty cup.
So let's stary by talking to ourselves the way we want others to talk to our kids. 😏 This is always harder to do than to say! So we gotta take it one step at a time.
-This practice of self-kindness doesn't have to be perfect.
-Stay in the moment; don't worry about how it went in the past, or how it will go in the future. Stay here now.
-Approach this how best works for you...journaling? Talking to yourself? Meditating? Closing your eyes for 10 seconds? Whatever is best for you, do that.
The next step is modeling this self-kindness practice to our kids as a way to be excellent and not perfect, a way to handle the hard moments with grace and wisdom, and a way to spread kindness to others in the form of NOT expecting perfection from others. So while we're focusing the majority of the following tips towards how we can communicate with our kids, each of these can be turned around on yourself.
Teaching Children Excellence, Not Perfectionism
Perfectionism can absolutely exist in children, especially those who are high achievers. However, perfectionism can be harmful to children's mental and emotional health. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
Before you start catastrophizing and going down a dark rabbit hole, keep reading.
The above is why it's important to teach children to strive for excellence, not perfection. Excellence is about doing your best and giving your all, even if you don't always succeed. It's about learning from your mistakes and growing from them. The beauty is these tips are simple, achievable, buildable, and realistic. You are more than capable, Mom/Dad!
Here are some tips for teaching children excellence, not perfectionism:
- Focus on effort, not results. When your child does something, praise their effort, not just the outcome. Let them know that you're proud of them for trying their best, even if they didn't get the perfect score or win the game.
- Teach them that mistakes are okay. Everyone makes mistakes. It's how we learn and grow. Help your child understand that mistakes are not a reflection of their worth.
- Encourage them to take risks. Don't be afraid to let your child try new things, even if they're afraid of failing. Failure is a part of life, and it's how we learn and grow.
- Help them develop a growth mindset. A growth mindset is the belief that your abilities can be developed through hard work and effort. Help your child understand that they can always get better, no matter how talented they are.
- Be a role model. The best way to teach your child about excellence is to model it yourself. Show them that you're willing to work hard and that you're not afraid to make mistakes.
Teaching children excellence, not perfectionism, is an important part of raising happy and healthy kids. It will help them develop a positive self-image and a strong sense of resilience.
Here are some additional tips for teaching children excellence, not perfectionism:
- Help them find their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Help your child identify theirs and focus on developing their strengths.
- Set realistic goals. Don't set your child up for failure by setting unrealistic goals. Help them set goals that are challenging but achievable.
- Encourage them to celebrate their successes. When your child achieves a goal, be sure to celebrate their success. This will help them feel good about themselves and motivated to continue striving for excellence.
- Be patient. It takes time to develop a growth mindset and to learn to strive for excellence, not perfection. Be patient with your child and offer them your support along the way.
Teaching children excellence, not perfectionism, is a lifelong journey. By practicing these tips, you can help your child develop the skills and mindset they need to succeed in life--building that foundation of boundaries in line with their integrity, and developing the skills of self love and kindness that grow and grow and flow outwards to those around them.
These kids are blessed and lucky to have YOU.
Have more ways you're practicing and modeling kindness for your kids? Share in the comments, we need all the diverse images and practices of kindness!
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