So here we are at the end of January. Let’s check-in on those New Year’s resolutions. Did you quit smoking? Did you go to the gym every day? How about the January cleanse; did anyone stick to that? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a better person than I. More likely, we probably have all given up on our resolutions by this point of the year. I’m not trying to shame anyone. I just think that resolutions set us up to fail.
Perfecting is a process. We will spend our entire lives perfecting ourselves, but we will never reach perfection. That is something with which we must come to terms. Resolutions are good in a way because they cause us to identify what we would like to change about ourselves; however, resolutions are not sustainable because of the pressure to start off so fast and strong. By creating a plan that is more sustainable and incremental, we can continue the process of perfecting and reach attainable goals.
Time spent in school is a perfect example of a period of our lives spent perfecting. We spend years incrementally learning advanced concepts and theories, one step at a time. For example, we spend years perfecting mathematics. We start in kindergarten learning our numbers. Once we perfect this skill, we learn how to add them together or to subtract one from another. We spend years learning how to use numbers, learning equations and theories, and integrating these numbers into other aspects of our lives. Although we will never be perfect at math, we spend years perfecting that skill.
Similarly, we spend school years perfecting social behavior and people skills. We learn at a young age to play nice with others and to share. As we go throughout school, we learn about friendships and relationships and appropriate social interactions. These skills are carried out through our adult lives. Like math, we never perfect social interactions, but we spend our lives perfecting these skills.
When dealing with your children, it is important to remember that they are perfecting, not perfect. There will likely be things that frustrate you as they go through this process, but remember that they are learning and evolving as people. We as adults have not and will not ever reach perfection, so let’s make sure we don’t demand perfection from our children.