Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A note to parents of perfect kids


A note to parents of perfect kids
19 February 2014

I’d like to send a little note to parents of perfect kids – they’re not.

They’re human.  Just like you.  Just like me. 

We all think our kids are the proverbial bomb.  The bees knees.  The sharpest tools in the shed.

But I do believe that it is healthy and balanced to know and understand that they’re not perfect.  They’re perfectly fallible.  Just like all of us.

I think that the mantle of expecting perfection from our kids, is a very burdensome one for them to wear.  To feel the expectation of parents always resting on their shoulders.  Needing to make decisions in life, purely to please parents, and not put a foot out of place.  Can you imagine the strain?  The unbearable tension? 

Because inevitably, something will go wrong.  Parents of perfect kids, don’t often cope with this.  And their children know this.  And thus they have two options – hide the truth, or face the shame.

And I think that this is often what happens – kids lead double lives.  Knowing their parents won’t cope with the knowledge of who they really are. 

And therefore you get a very elitist groups of parents.  Living under the illusion, that their kids are completely and utterly perfect.

And the great sorrow in that, is the fact that they don’t know their kids.  Who they really are.  All they know, is the half painted picture, their kids want them to see.  Not the whole thing.  No techni colour details added.  No wonderful shading too.

Cause little do they know that their “perfect” kids are most likely getting up to all shades of mischief behind their backs.  And therein lies the awful truth.  They’re none the bloody wiser, cause they actually just don’t really want to have to deal, with having to deal, with imperfect kids.  Kids that didn’t get the memo about being just so.  Kids that experiment, put themselves out there and do average, normal, age appropriate things.

Most often “perfect” kids, are the product of parents, who can’t cope with the notion of their kids being fallible.  Parents who strive for perfection in their offspring, because they couldn’t reach it in their own lives.  Who are now trying to live vicariously through the lives of their children.

And I think more’s their loss.  Cause quite often when we are humbled, by the actions of ourselves and our kids, we grow as people.  We grow closer.  We grow a heart.

My kids, though perfect in many ways, are human and fallible.  Just like me.  They stumble, and they fall.  But we stand up once more.  And I’m blessed if they turn to me when this happens.  If they don’t mind me seeing them vulnerable and lost.

I don’t need perfect kids.  I just need my kids. 

They’re a perfect fit.

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  1. Perfect people are awfully boring!
    And we like interesting!!
    Helene, Albert and Katrine are real people,
    Luke, Amber and Cole, are real kids!
    And I love all of you.

  2. As a student at varsity, Bert and I decided that we should hitchhike to my home, as we knew my parents were away for the weekend! Very exciting adventure! Except it went horribly wrong and we were lucky to escape with our lives. We knew the dangers of hitchhiking but we did it anyway. I was too ashamed, embarressed and afraid to tell my parents - all self inflicted emotions. When they finally found out, they were so happy that we survived the situation, proud of how we handled ourselves during the ordeal, and no retribution was ever up for discussion. I only understood their uncoinditional love when I had my own precious children - and as a result, I have told my kids, clearly in words so that they understand and hear me - everybody makes mistakes. NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO - as their parents, we love them the most and we are the best people to help them when things go wrong. It does not mean we will not be upset, but we are the best equipped to help them and nothing is insurmountable.

  3. This is very true Bettie. They need to know that we are the people who will help them best, no matter what. And it does not mean we won't be 'woes' for a while, but we will still love them and provide them with the best help, or get it if we can't cope!

    I had the experience on more that one occasion - falling pregnant at 18, when Frankie and I had problems in Clanwilliam, and with many financial woes. Pa and Ma were awesome and I will always be grateful for that.