The Daily Groove

Idealism vs. Perfectionism

You can be an idealistic parent without falling into the trap of perfectionism.

Your parenting ideals give you a focal point, a sense of direction on your journey.

But perfectionism demands the impossible: Get to the destination without taking the journey! ("If you can't do it right, don't do it at all!")

If perfectionism is keeping you from enjoying your idealistic parenting journey — if you feel ashamed whenever you fall short of your ideals — consider this funny-but-true saying:

Anything worth doing
is worth doing poorly at first.

You knew that when you were born. That's why you were filled with joy when you took your first, wobbly steps as a baby.

Today, remember that every worthwhile journey begins with a few wobbly steps. And give yourself permission to enjoy the wobbles!

Comments (closed)

I am trying to overcome my

I am trying to overcome my parenting perfectionism - this one spoke volumes to me!

would love to read something about approval seeking. I have a tendency to seek the approval of others (usually my family ) &/or I constantly try to defend or justify our parenting style.


Aside from the practical approval-seeking necessary to get along with others (e.g., "Do you mind if I use your tools?"), most approval-seeking indicates low self-esteem or lack of self-confidence. Even those who are confident in general will have certain issues about which they lack confidence and tend to compensate by seeking others' approval.

Here are some things you can do to reduce unhealthy approval-seeking:

a) Notice that you are seeking approval (hint: it feels yucky!)

b) Question it: "Do I really need anyone's approval (other than my own) to be/act this way?"

c) Give yourself your own approval: "I approve of this choice regardless of whether anyone else does." Notice the little rush of Authentic Power you feel when you do this! That good feeling indicates you're on the right track.

d) Affirm your boundaries: "If they have a problem with my choice, it's their problem, not mine... They are free to try and change my mind, and I am free to decide what's right for me... We can respect each other even though we don't agree on everything."

When facing legitimate self-doubt (i.e., based on a lack of experience rather than low self-esteem), replace approval-seeking with seeking input — asking others to share their perspectives but then deciding based on what feels right to you.

thanks. helps out a lot!

helps out a lot!

Re: Approval-Seeking

yup, thank you thank you thank you - this helps alot.