‘Never, never, never, never give up.’
These sound like good mottos, don’t they? They encourage us to try hard, to improve and to do our best, don’t they? Or do they, accidentally or on purpose, in subtle ways, encourage perfectionism?
While there’s nothing wrong and a lot good about aiming to do your best, there’s a fine line between doing your best and perfectionism.
What is Perfectionism?
Perfectionism is striving to do and be the best, until the standards set are impossibly high, and self-criticism rules.
Perfectionism is common in homeschooling circles. Homeschooling mothers are an extremely dedicated breed. They have a deep desire to provide the very best for their children. And they are often not very compassionate towards themselves.
Are You a Perfectionist?
• Do you often say ‘I should…: or ‘I must …’?
• Do you often fail to reach your goals because they are unrealistic?
• Do you feel like a failure if you don’t achieve 100%.
• Do you have unrealistically high expectations of your children?
• Do you feel fully responsible for your children’s behaviour?
• Do you take it personally if your child fails?
• Are you prone to stress?
If you answered ‘yes’ to four or more of these questions you may be a perfectionist.
Get Rid of Perfectionism
• Realise that perfectionism isn’t a good thing, it damages relationships and sets you up for disappointment.
• Allow less than perfect things – muddy paw prints on the kitchen floor, children who embarrass you in public – these things are part of life.
• Embrace the truth that life is difficult and messy.
• Realise that there are times in homeschooling when you make fabulous progress and other times when you can see little for all your efforts.
• Know that lowering your standards doesn’t mean you are lazy.
• Be comfortable if you happen to send an emale with a speling error or if your friend calls in unexpectedly when your house is messy or you are having a bad hair day.
• Read another chapter of the storybook to your children, if you are all enjoying it, even if you had only assigned one chapter for today.
• Forgive yourself if dinner is late, you don’t change all the bed linen on the correct day, you run out of breakfast cereal before supermarket day, or whatever it is.
• Check out the HFL Store for eBooks and easy teaching guides to encourage and support you in your homeschooling.
• Relax and enjoy homeschooling your children.
‘When you aim for perfection, you discover it’s a moving target.’ ~ George Fisher
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This article came from Homeschool Family Life. Find simple, practical ideas on enjoying a homeschool family lifestyle, training courses, books and study guides, simple recipes, book recommendations, book reviews, stories of family life in a homeschool family, at www.HomeschoolFamilyLife.com