I have a question for you…
Do you always find fault with your child’s work?
Do you often redo what your child has done?
Do you praise your child only to follow it with the word “but…”?
Do you find your child falling short of your expectations time and time again and your frustration level with them rising because of it?
You might be dealing with a child who is Never Good Enough. But, frankly, it isn’t so much their fault as it is YOURS.
Let me tell you a story…
My oldest has always been big for his age. He was always off the charts thanks to a 6’4″ daddy. And in my eyes, he seemed older. He was very mature and I expected a lot from him. Matter of fact, I still do, but I have a different perspective now.
Once upon a time, I wanted 12 year old work from a 4 year old. Once upon a time, I wanted total maturity all the time no matter what. Once upon a time, my son could never live up to my expectations and while he thankfully does not remember this, I know I felt everything he did was never good enough. It always fell short. And more often than not, I let him know.
As parents, we have expectations of our children. Sometimes they are spot on and sometimes they are way off. Sometimes they are just enough to challenge a child to do better and sometimes they do nothing but defeat our children.
While I’m not an advocate of “everyone gets a blue ribbon”, I do believe you have to be aware of treating your child as if they are never good enough.
Suppose your child shows you a picture she has drawn. Suppose you tell her it is great, but she could have shaded it like this and it would have looked a little more realistic. Suppose every time she comes to you with a picture she’s drawn you give her one more piece of well-meaning advice on how she could have done a better job.
Some day she’ll stop showing you her drawings.
Put yourself in your child’s shoes. What if you brought a dessert you had created to a friend’s house and she praised it, but suggested next time you put in some nutmeg to make it better. What if the next time the dish you brought needed a little more salt? What if the next time your salad didn’t have enough dressing. Would you keep bringing over meals or would you feel like nothing you ever did was to her liking so why bother?
Yeah, I thought so.
It gets old never being good enough. Your child will begin to shut down because there never seems to be any sense in trying. They can never, ever please you.
Please parents -
Let your child be good enough for their age and ability.
Build your relationship with your child so that when you do have a legitimate criticism, it is heard. Otherwise, your voice is just the same old noise they always hear from you.