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When I was gowing up , I was told that I was an absolute delight as a child- punctual , organised , detailed oriented .. in short just PERFECT! I was showered with so much of love and adulation that I started to master the art of being perfect so consciously that it almost was like my second nature by the time I got into my early teens.
Life gave me so much of success , opportunities , and more .Those days filled me with a sense of achievement and confidence that remains unshakeable even today. It made me attempt loads of things that were beyond me at one point but the faith it rewarded me with proved to be magical.
In retrospect , Despite all that I gained from my being too perfect , I also became a little too rigid about situations , people , responses and more. I valued my viewpoints more than those of others and unknowingly became an average team player , became so cynically fond of routines , goals and symmetry that any deviation was taken as a big problem per se. I was constantly under stress to do it right , pressure to achieve more , and a total stickler to routines , schedules ,and processes .Needless to say chaos made me uncomfortable and disorder unsettled me most.
Today when I do the math , it’s not been a win –win game. But by staying alert to what all I gained in the process , I have been able to keep myself sane but the constant effort to keep things in place and order is mind boggling indeed. The following have been a glimpse of my game plan to help my kids avoid falling in the trap:
1. I am pretty cool when my kids give up on their otherwise scheduled classes , goals and agendas on a given day.
2. I am OK when they do not do a couple of things right...they find it as me being flexible and I find its manageable and a chance to explain. They are happy I am not angry , nagging or blowing my lid (believe me , it’s so tough given my long conditioning of being perfect! ) and I am happy being on a mission “I DON’T WANT MY KIDS TO BE PERFECT”.
3. In today’s times , there is so much of chaos that all planning , schedules etc need a de tour quite frequently. By keeping , free slots in my planning , I help them accommodate changes in their schedules and steer clear of all the worries , stress and feelings of being burdened. I communicate , “IT’S OK TO FALTER AT TIMES” MAKE FRESH BEGINNNINGS THOUGH.
4. I keep weekly once a day of no particular schedules , and allow them to flow like a river and wade in the rich river of whatever they are passionate about...and anything else that catches their fancy.
5. I am exercising restrain on passing sermons , when my young one lets his toys occupy all the space in his room and even mine some times in a while..(how can I completely let go of my first preference for ORDER ) or my girl does not learn to keep things in designated place.
All this and more only because as they grow up the only constant that they’ ll face is uncertain and chaotic times , casual interactions and stuffed time slots / situations.
And if they move around with a heavy head and a serious heart , it will only add fuel to the challenges that will abound.
It is anytime better to inculcate the lightness of spirits and work in our kid’s heart than to teach them the heaviness of perfectionism that comes with a baggage –that becomes a burden the moment you cross your 40 s.