I love parenting wisdom from Christian experts, authors, and speakers. However, in this first year as a new mom, picking up a big book to read at the end of a long day has seemed overwhelming and exhausting. That is why podcasts and daily broadcasts, specifically from Focus on the Family and FamilyLife, have been such a lifesaver. They usually are 30 minutes or less and I can find different topics to listen to right on the apps on my phone when I have a pocket of time throughout my day!
This week, I listened to the interview of the authors of No More Perfect Kids, Jill Savage and Kathy Koch, on Focus on the Family. They discussed different points about the high expectations parents have for their children and more in this 3-part interview that I would love to share with you!
In a culture that is so perfection oriented, where parents feel like the behavior of their children is a direct reflection of themselves (Yes, me included even in these first 11 1/2 months…), it was such an encouragement to hear how important it is for us as parents to create an environment that is safe for our children to fail.
1. Excellence vs. Perfection
Excellence is attainable, perfection is not. We have these high expectations for our children and we often focus on what they are not doing well enough. Even if we are saying a lot of positive things, we need to remember that negativity is LOUD. Every child is dying to hear that they are LOVED and they are GOOD ENOUGH!
2. “Raise the children you were given, not the children you wish you had”
There is a two step process when your child is different than your expectations and dreams for them — GRIEVE and KNOW. Grieve the sadness you feel that you won’t be able to share in something that maybe you did or that you were hoping for them. Then, take the next step and really tune into who they are, study them, observe their interests. And, then, celebrate who they are, internally and externally.
3. “Come to Momma Attitude”
This concept is all about PROGRESS, not PERFECTION. It is based on the idea that when your child is learning how to walk, you are encouraging them to take more steps and “come to Momma”. The child usually takes a few steps, then falls down. We, as parents, celebrate those steps and encourage them to get back up and try again! So, when they turn 8, 9, 10 and they “take a few steps, and then fall down”, why do we see that as imperfection or unacceptable instead of progress?
4. “Perfection Infection Parenting”
Perfection Infection Parenting is not allowing our kids to fail, when failure is not safe and expectations are unrealistic. When this is the environment you create as a parent, you will spend all your time correcting your children, and not connecting with them. Good parenting needs both. Children need correcting but they also need to hear “I’M SO PROUD OF YOU.”! Connect with your children by asking them, How did you do it?, What caused the success?, What do you think you may do next?
As parents, we want a home and family environment to be open and honest, not a place where our children feel like they can’t fail. Don’t forget the power of encouragement! Also, don’t forget that your kids are watching you – How do you respond to your own failure? We need to show ourselves grace and show our kids grace, because of the grace that Jesus has already given for all of our failures! Ultimately, parenting is hard and I’ve learned that I am not in control of my child like I thought I would be (it’s been a long 8 months of struggling with the napping battle). So, pray, turn to God for wisdom in raising your children, and ask Him to show you how to love each child for who they were created to be!
Listen to the broadcast of Love Your Kids for Who They Are (Part 1)
[Part 2 and Part 3 are also available}
Buy the book No More Perfect Kids on Amazon or you make a donation of any amount to Focus on the Family and get this book as your gift!
Which of these points really resonated with you?