Desiring it, expecting it, recovering from it?
Hopefully the latter....
Today as I watched Ellery Grace (2) tackle the laundry with me,
I noticed how very proud she was of every sock she folded.
She would fold them one a time, after all, no need to pair them up when they
all appear to be the same sock.
After every folded sock she would bring it to me,
"Here Namaw" as she locked eyes with me in order for me to
deem her work acceptable...
Each time I would tell her what a great job she did and thanked her.
I often let them help with laundry, both love to put clothes in the washer
and both look forward to the moving into the next machine for drying,
and both love to fold.
Khloe, always wants to wipe down their little table after meals.
Each time asking me not to look until shes done.
I can almost read a chapter of a book in the time it takes her,
after all its a good 24" x 17" table.
She then calls me over to look at her work, again eyes lock for that approval
from me that its a great job, that its enough.
Today it was such a strong thought, the importance of teaching them how
to perform a task and letting them run with it.
After all, they KNOW HOW TO DO IT after one lesson right?
They do not want future help with it.
In their minds they've learned how, they can now replicate (used loosely)
what they've been taught therefore it should be
Oh it's good enough!
They really do want to help, they want to emulate
Namaw, Pa, Momma, Daddy, teacher etc....
(Reminder to those who are unaware, they ARE watching you.)
Of course I generally re fold many things, but they don't need to know that.
They need to know how great their effort was.
There will be times in the future to teach them how to fine tune their
folding skills :-)
Looking back I remember my sons learning at early ages to make their beds.
Often times it was comical when I checked on the progress.
It would have been far to obvious if I had re made them,
I allowed them to become better bed makers when they wanted to,
and they did.
It fills my heart when my daughter in law sends me a photo of Khloe age 4,
on a stool rinsing dishes to go into the dishwasher.
I love that she allows her to do so.
No worry of the possibility that water that may end up on the floor,
or of her getting her little shirt wet.
Its a teaching moment, it's her being like her Momma,
that is what pleases these little ones.....
If you find you're the perfectionist...well,
don't put that on them or anyone else for that matter...
not an order, but a strong suggestion ;-).
I myself am a recovering household perfectionist
while in my 20's....thankful I didn't expect it of my family,
thankful I saw the amount of energy it sapped out of me,
thankful I let it go!
I guess what got me today was just how important it is,
to teach them (because they do want to help), and
to allow them to get better at something at their own speed.
To teach them that their attempts at whatever,
is good enough.
Again there is always time to further teach them...
just not as often as your praising them. :-)
We can teach responsibility, without expecting perfection.
We could stand to praise more often than we preach, or correct.
not expecting the perfect child, to do everything perfectly.
That doesn't translate well into their future years.
Do we really want them to feel they're never enough....
Let's face it Mary Poppins who was practically perfect in
every way, was alone when between jobs... and
she was clearly interested in Burt.
Watching as an adult, though her job she found rewarding,
and clearly loved children,
she was alone in her perfection.
(She did have plenty of good qualities, I'm not a Poppins hater..)
Perfectionism in real life, its hard and uncomfortable
for this blogger to watch....
Have you ever watched a perfectionist and thought,
they are missing so many awesome moments by trying
to make it all so perfect.
Let them be kids,
let them know their efforts are generally good enough.
In my opinion the perfectly behaved child,
(though good behavior is important)
is not a happy child, but a bundle of stress inside over trying to please,
trying to be good enough.
Trying to avoid the humiliation of being told that what they're
doing isn't acceptable, isn't good enough, every time they turn around.
Instead they have once again,
Praise, such a great motivator to continue to do better and to please.
Mom's and Dad's
save that other stuff for the military to teach them,
should they choose to enlist :-)
I was a fairly strict parent, but tried to let them know they were enough...
No claims of not making mistakes as a parent,
just an old Namaw that notices things about kids....
How I wish I worked for Chobani , the boss giving every employee
10 % of the company!
My guess is they'll become even better employees because he noticed,
he saw their efforts and it was enough :-)
Its what echos in my heart today.....