Perfectionist Parenting

Notice the SAD FACE in the corner!! (I hope you see the jest in my photoshopping!)

I am your stereotypical “first born”.  I tend to be an over achiever.  Failure in ANY form is not handled well.  When I was in school here’s how I saw grades:

A = ok but I should have gotten an A+

B = b is for BAD!  should have gotten an A!

C  = might as well be an F!

D = this simply CAN’T happen!  The world is over!

Ya, I was a little high strung!  My mom says she remembers forcing me to stop doing homework and go to bed.  Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t do my fair share of procrastinating, but nonetheless, it HAD to be at least A work when I was done!

Which may explain a little bit why this whole “closing a church”, “husband cheating on you”, “marriage in shambles” thing is so extra traumatic for me right now.

But that is not the focus of this post.

On Monday Caleb got his first naughty note sent home from the teacher!  He has only been in school SIX days and he got a note home.  It said that he wasn’t keeping his hands and feet to himself and therefore circle time was extra hard. And “could you please help remind him of that at home.”

I was HUMILIATED!

Now, the LOGIC side of my brain said, “he’s THREE!  He’s never been in school before or around other kids all that much.  This is normal!”

But the other side of my brain said, “I am a HORRIBLE parent!  All this stuff going on at home has affected him and now he’s acting out and he’s never going to listen and obey and I am a failure and he is going to be kicked out of school and I’m a failure and he’s never going to have friends and I’m a failure and he’s going to flunk out of school and I am a failure and he’s never going to get a job and I’m a failure and he’s going to wind up in jail because I am a failure as a parent and am RUINING this precious little child!”

Ya, go ahead and say it, I should be medicated!  HEAVILY!

See, Caleb was SUCH an angel baby!  And such a great kid up until about age 2.5 or so.  I would get comments all the time about how polite he was, how well mannered he was, how kind he was.  Now something happened to my sweet angel!  He is becoming very defiant and is forgetting his manners that he had down pat before and says “NO!” to EVERYTHING.

And it’s been REALLY hard to not totally blame myself and believe that all that is going on at home is having a huge affect on him.  I think we are doing a pretty good job at keep it from him.  When Caleb is up he gets our attention and we don’t argue or talk about all this stuff around him ever.

I really dread and worry about the day when we will have to sit down with him and Tim will have to tell him what he did.  I pray that God will use that for GOOD and that it can shape Caleb in a good way.  That it will show Caleb what NOT to do and how much our relationship with God has to be priority ONE.  But that is another post.

Sorry for all the tangents today!

Anyway…I am seeing that I CANNOT be perfectionistic in my parenting!  While this is the MOST important job I have, I also cannot be perfect.  I have to pray, listen to God and do the best I can and leave Caleb in His hands.  Otherwise trying to attain perfection is only going to drive me to paralysis.  “If I can’t do it right, then I won’t do it at all!”

So, Caleb got his first note home from the teacher.  I’m sure there will be more.  And we will handle each one as they come.  And praise him when he gets a GOOD note!  And Caleb is going to be an amazing man of God because that is how we are raising him.  And God has a special, amazing plan for him.

As a side note, we did address the note with him.  We had a couple little “pow wows” with him practicing how to sit in circle time.  We explained how important it is to share (because that is an issue with ALL the kids right now) and how God wants us to be nice to one another.  He and I prayed that God would help him with that.  And we practiced again and again how to sit in circle time.  I’m anxious to see how he does today!

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3 thoughts on “Perfectionist Parenting

  1. I have that child too. I had to get over taking it personally, too. I still get ill when I get calls from the teacher, feeling like I am the one being called to the principal’s office.

    Just know you are not alone. You have started on a whole new journey, and you will do just fine!

  2. Aw – you’re a great parent. I know it! Children can be very humbling, but in some senses I count it a privilege that I can be humbled and can learn from my child. IMO to be a parent of a spirited child means learning to let go of your own ego. There have been so many times in the past that I’ve seen a misbehaving child and wondered what type of (neglectful? irresponsible?) parents the child must have. However, now that I’m parenting my own willful, spirited child I’ve learned to recognize that a child’s behavior isn’t always a reflective of the adult’s parenting skill!

  3. Pingback: Well….DUH! « this and that and then some

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