Perfect Children Are Sad Children
Perfect children don’t always know how to smile, nor do they know the sound of happiness. They’re afraid to make mistakes and never reach the very high expectations of their parents. Their education is not based on freedom or acknowledgement, but rather on the authority of a strict and demanding voice.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), depression in teenagers is already a very serious problem in our day and age. Excessive demand from parents, easily translates into a lack of self-esteem, anxiety and a great emotional discomfort.
Something we must always keep in mind is that demands during childhood leave an irreversible mark on the adult brain. We never see ourselves as competent enough, nor are we perfect enough based on the ideals that were instilled in us. We must, therefore, break this limiting bond that stifles our ability to be happy.
Perfect children: when the culture of effort is taken to extremes
It is often said education is not rigorous enough, that teachers and parents are overly permissive, and students have very little tolerance for frustration. However, this is not entirely true. Generally, and even more so in times of crisis, parents seek “excellence” in their children.
If a child gets a B in math, they are pressured to get an A+. Their afternoons are filled with extracurricular classes, and their leisure time is limited to looking for more competitions. This brings about stress, exhaustion and helplessness.
The Price of Privilege, is an interesting book published by Dr. Madeleine Levine, where she explains how in our need to bring up perfect children who are ready for the future, what we’re really achieving is the upbringing of kids who are “disconnected from happiness.”
There is something we should keep in mind. We can educate our children in the culture of effort. We can and should demand certain things from them. Of this there is no doubt, but everything has its limit. This limit is to accompany your demands with an unconditional cushion of love and acceptance.