Stop Telling Your Kids They Are Perfect
Chris Pratt said at the MTV Awards last night,
You’re Not Perfect! I agree!
I am not going to sugar coat it —Please stop telling your kids they’re perfect, it is not good for them.
In your eyes, your child is perfection personified, flaws and all. And telling your child they’re perfect is one of the ways you send your enormous love to them.
However, a strange thing happens when the words, “You’re perfect” leave your mouth. Those words somehow get turned upside down, and flipped on their head, as they make their way to your child’s ears. Then, your sweet one, using age-appropriate immature thinking, translates those words into a misconception about who they are, and what’s required of them in this life.
The truth is your kids are a WORK in progress. And no one is perfect, parent or child.
Your kids need to know that life requires them to grow and change. More importantly, your kids need to know that it’s POSSIBE to change. And they will never know that it’s possible to change, unless they experience the NEED to change.
Telling a child that they’re perfect gets translated by their immature thinking into, “I don’t have to change who I am, or what I’m doing, because my parents think I’m perfect.”
But your kids do need to change. They need to know that it requires hard work to control their impulses. They need to know that their mistakes involve them, and are not simply the fault of others. Your kids needs to know that sharing requires compromise, and good grades come from hard work, those things don’t magically happen because they’re perfect.
Kids live in the world of magical thinking, and parents are required to, like it or not, share the realities of life—by telling the truth.
Send your love using truthful statements of support instead. You do that so your child can replicate whatever they did to receive those supportive words and recreate those actions again and again.
Saying things like, “You’re kind.” “You’re sweet.” “You’re a hard worker.” “You give it all you’ve got when you do _____” fills a child up with messages that show them how to be those things again and again.
Being a parent requires that you remember who it is you’re talking to, and the level of understanding they’ll be using to interpret what it is you say.
That’s why I agree with what Chris Pratt said. Just thought you’d want to know.