I found one of the most difficult subjects to talk about with my daughter is perfection. In this world, everyone puts standards on you and you don’t even ask for it. Society as a whole expects perfection, but we are not perfect.
My daughter cried when I told her to try to draw, whatever she wanted. She told me she wanted to draw a circle, but none of her circles were perfect enough. I was so confused. She could have drawn anything, I mean, ANYTHING. I didn’t understand why she felt like she needed to draw a circle.
So I began to draw, without using a compass or protractor. I just drew. And when I messed up in my mind, I just kept going. Modified my drawing. I had to explain to her that it was okay to just draw. It didn’t have to be perfect, it didn’t have to make sense, and it didn’t even have to be anything particular, I just wanted her to learn to draw, unhinged.
This moment brought up so much for us and I began to understand that we all add to the pressures of our children. Sit up straight, play sports, get involved in school. Although we, as parents, just want the best for our children, it adds to the perfect model child. And as we continue to add achievements to that perfect model, that child begins to stress about whether or not they are good enough.
This just blew my mind. We love our children unconditionally, but sometimes we forget to show them just that. We forget to listen. We forget to show them by example. Even I had got caught up in making the perfect circle. I had stressed that my art would never be good enough to make any money at. And even though I have yet to make a single dollar, I know that I have found this ability for a reason. I just need to find it.
So, draw…sing…paint…dance, whatever makes you happy. And remember, perfection is not a necessity. Neither is it a guarantee for something better. Life is too short to stress over the things that are supposed to make us happy.
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