Perfect Child or Happy Child?
Focusing more on ensuring that our children are happy as well as emotionally healthy will be helpful for both ourselves and our children, instead of insisting on them becoming perfect. When we realise that indeed, we ourselves are not perfect, neither is any other person, not only will be creating more space for our children to grow and prosper, but we ourselves will become less stressed. Of course, it is our job to do everything we can to help our children, but we should also remind ourselves that perfection does not exist.
Furthermore, through expecting perfection from our children, we may not realise the immense amount of pressure we could be putting on them. This could be very detrimental for their wellbeing, especially if we do not notice the signs.
When we realise and accept that every person will make mistakes, and remember that this is not any different for children, we will see that of course children will face hurdles in life and sometimes they will not perform their best. Mistakes and failures are a part of life and they do indeed help us to learn and grow – this is the same for children. Learning to cope with change and struggles will help our children to become more mature, aware and responsible.
As our children learn firstly from us, they will notice when we demonstrate and emphasise the importance of emotional wellbeing and striving to fulfil our potential, as opposed to striving towards perfection. The importance we place on these things will be something that our children remember as they grow up, so it is vital that we show them what is really of significance in this life. The more our children see us pushing them towards perfection, the more likely it is for them to do the same with their children or those that are younger than them. The lessons we teach our children stay with them and therefore do have an effect on the overall Ummah.
Children notice our reactions to their failures and struggles. The last thing we would want is for them to feel that perfection exists and that achieving it is so important that when there is a failure or struggle, they should become helpless. Focusing on perfection may cause children to think that struggles are experiences which are unbearable and negative. The more we teach our children that the reality of this life is that we will make mistakes and face struggles, the more effectively they will be able to cope when these situations arise. Of course, we do not want our children to lose all hope at the first sign of a hardship.