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What’s The Parents’ Role In The Pressure Our Kids Feel To Be Perfect?

By Kirsten Jones, I Love to Watch You Play, 07/12/19, 7:15AM CDT

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Kids will still get messages from their peers and from the media, but if you are their rock at home, reinforcing the message that it’s OK to NOT be perfect and that it’s OK to slow down and enjoy the process and evolve, you can help them to be more balanced and happy. 

Throughout time, most parents would agree that their greatest desire is to raise happy and healthy children. But more recently, bubbling up beneath these two more noble desires, is a more insidious one. One that has become so important, that parents are putting happy and healthy at great risk by making this their priority: superiority.

School, sports, extracurriculars, everything a child does now, they must be superior. This ‘superiority’ complex has arisen because no longer can a child do an activity or have a passion for something unless it’s a means to an end, a college scholarship, easier entrance to a top school or at the very least, Facebook bragging rights. Whether intentional or not, parents have an overwhelming misguided focus that somehow if we help our children discover a passion, and help them become great at it, that this will be their path to happiness and success. We have abandoned the idea that playing a sport, learning an instrument or a flair for art can have intrinsic benefits, like pure enjoyment or a needed distraction from the normal stresses of life. So we pour money, time, and put a lot of pressure on our kids in order to master all that they do, and only if they are superior and thereby masters, only then do we consider it to have worth.