I live in a wealthy town. A VERY wealthy town. Not gonna lie about that fact since it’s easy enough for all of you to find. I live in a town where all children are exceptional, will be Varsity athletes and have a perfect grade point average. My little hamlet has kids scheduled every minute and their helicopter parents help them with their science projects because they are tired from 7pm basketball practice. Yes, I live in the “perfect” town.
As you all know, because I data dump here weekly, I have a child with learning disabilities. I also have an amazing tutor to help all three of my children because I am NOT a teacher. I am their mother. My sister is a teacher, an exceptional teacher. I am well aware I will NEVER be a teacher, but I am a pretty good Mom so I have a tutor. It’s one of the best things I have done as a parent, hands down. Our tutor, who my kids adore and I would be lost without, is a very sage woman. She’s a grandmother. She works in the school system. She has seen it all. This past year she shared an article about the current problem in parenting, Perfect Parenting. Take a read HERE. Basically this article indicates that by being the “Perfect Parent”, doing it all for our kids, they don’t know how to handle adversity. Guess what happens when you don’t let your kids fail and fall? They end up in therapy because their life is “Perfect”. I kid you not. This article was written by a Mom and therapist and her current patients are in her chair because they are unsatisfied with their perfect husbands/wives, jobs, homes and lives.
That darn tutor is a sly one. She knows me very well, she loves my kids and I wasn’t doing them any favors. So beginning this year I backed off as the homework Nazi. They still have a tutor twice a week (and by “they” it’s mostly my oldest) but I don’t sit with them every night anymore. I don’t harass them anymore about finishing their homework or making it “perfect”. It was their turn to fall and figure this crap out. I stepped back and guess what, those three little urchins have figured it out. They have also failed and realized if you don’t do the work you will fall on your face. They are learning the concept of consequences. It has not been pretty, there have been tears and those kids are unhappy too but it was the right thing to do.
I am not perfect. I still have the “kids in therapy” jar which I deposit a quarter each time I swear like a trucker. They will have plenty of coin for therapy later. Hopefully, I will ruin them in the normal ways like being an embarrassment or being tough. I can deal with being that kind of Mom, but I don’t want to be the “perfect parent” anymore. Instead I want to create kids who will pick themselves back up when things get hard, know how to work through failure, take responsibility for their actions and learn in the process.