You can view the first four practices in part One.
These are from a Periscope video I filmed last year. You can watch the video or read the edited transcript below. The transcript includes one practice I forgot to mention in the video.
Practice #5 is Authenticity
The next practice for letting go of perfectionism and performance is to practice authenticity and to practice imperfection. To courageously let others know who you really are warts and all. And doing that with your kids. I think this is really hard in some families especially if Dad is really busy with work. If he’s just kind of tired and exhausted and distracted and focused on sports and hobbies; if he’s just distant and disconnected. And so the kids wonder: “What does he really think of me?” It’s sad, that can be such a trap, at home for kids and for families where “Dad pays attention or Dad shows up, when I play soccer or play baseball.” and “Dad gets excited and pays attention to me when I’m doing really well, in sports, but if I’m not, then he’s not really into me.”
Practice #6 is Getting Support and Accountability
Practicing vulnerability is hard. I hear and see this when people talk about Facebook how it’s hard to be vulnerable, it’s hard to tell the truth about where you struggle. And what happens to a lot folks is they struggle on their own, keep it hidden, until it gets unmanageable and then things blow up and it leaks out somewhere.
So, tell others the truth. Share with safe people. You don’t have to broadcast everything to anyone, but finding folks that you can really disclose who you really are can help you learn to trust that it’s worth it. One of the best things that our family has done this year (we took a break for a while) but we’ve got a small group of friends from church that we get together with once a week and that’s been great to get support and talk with other parents about where they’re at and where we’re at. To get encouragement and support.
Practice #6 is the practice of having fun as a family. One practice I forgot to include in the video is a suggestion from my son: practicing having fun and being playful. Humor and laughing at yourself. If you struggle with perfectionism or anxiety, it can be difficult to loosen up and laugh. My son likes to invent board games and weapons out of cardboard. My youngest and I like to express playfulness with verbal and physical comedy. It’s hard to be perfectionistic when you are trying to make someone laugh by making goofy faces!
Humor can be threatening and misused. As with the other practices, if this is something new or difficult for you, you may need to go slow and get some support for this one. Our favorite memories as a family are the times we can laugh together, when the kids can tease me. It reminds me to take a break from all the weighty matters matters in life. It also helps me not to take myself so seriously and to be too hard on myself.
Practice #7 is Self-Care clearing your mom or dad if you struggle with perfectionism is to practice self care. For folks that have faith and are believers part of that self-care can be a prayer and worship. Managing your stress as a mom, as a dad, by simplifying an overwhelmed and busy schedule can really help with with healing up and and getting off this rat race, this treadmill and getting some perspective about what why are we doing, what we’re doing, why are we so busy and tired and overwhelmed. Practicing self-care and pulling back to evaluate what you’re doing as a family and who are you trying to please and who are you doing it for can help you figure out things. To figure out what things are unhealthy, things that need to go, things that in your schedule that you need to cut out or have healthy boundaries about and say “no” to. This will give you the space to pay attention to your heart, to pay attention to your stress level and pay attention to your kids and be aware of how they’re doing.
“Shifting from human doings to human beings” you’ve heard that phrase. It takes time. It takes time to just enjoy sitting and being and not doing anything. I think stillness, the discipline of stillness and solitude and silence and not being busy is increasingly being lost. I know we feel that as a family running around, especially right now with Christmas performances, concerts and things like that. But it’s great to just be able to spend some time, an evening, or a bit of time in the morning disconnected from screens, not having to be entertained but just hanging out and talking and going for a walk or just enjoying the deck and the sunshine.
So, that’s what I’m going to go do. I hope that you guys have a great weekend. If you’re a mom or dad that struggles with perfectionism in yourself or with your expectations and perfectionism or controlling behavior and speech with your kids I hope that some of these things might resonate with you. I encourage you to take action one or two practices. If it seems overwhelming, just get started. I hope the best for your family. If you have any questions or comments feel free to comment below or tweet me on Twitter and send me a message. I would love to hear if you have any questions or if you have any suggestions for future blogs or videos.