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Topic : 08/01 Perfectionist Moms

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Created on : Friday, March 28, 2008, 02:30:21 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 04/03/08) Every parent believes his or her child is special – the best athlete, the best behaved or the most beautiful -- but for some moms, the pursuit of having the perfect child can turn into an obsession. Sonya says her 18-year-old daughter, Annie, was born perfect. The mom even went so far as to have her tubes tied right after giving birth so she could devote all her time to molding the perfect child! She started entering Annie in beauty pageants when she was 6 months old, and when the girl was 4, she made her watch reality medical shows so she would grow up to be a doctor. Annie regrets not having a normal childhood, and says she hated being pressured to succeed at such a young age. What’s behind Sonya’s obsession with perfection? Then, Cathy says she wants her 13-year-old daughter, Lexie, and her 18-year-old son, Nick, to be the best. Lexie says her mom hassles her about her weight and made her work out an hour a day at age 6! Nick says his mother drives his coaches crazy at sporting events by screaming and critiquing his game. Cathy says she’ll continue to badger and push her kids because she believes they’ll benefit in the long run. But will her controlling ways push her kids away? Share your views here.

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March 29, 2008, 6:55 pm CDT

I agree...

Quote From: rainpainrain

You know what they say...if your goal is to be perfect you will always fall short.

 

Perfectionist moms are hell on any kind of customer service.  It's all about pent up anxiety and they either need an antianxiety med and/or outlet for their anxiety.  Instead of turning it inward, they project that on their poor kids and some poor guy who is unlucky enough to put up with her, and  then on anyone else they encounter.  I have to put up boundaries with them or they'll control/dominate the whole interaction and I won't be able to see anyone else.  It's that "Atlas" complex (the world's on my shoulders and will crumble if I let go).  What's sad is the children suffering from malnutrition (a six year old doesn't need to be on a diet, just eat healthy) or resenting their parents as adults if mom doesn't manage her stress better.

 
March 30, 2008, 7:58 am CDT

Perfection is in the eye of the beholder!

I could be on this show!  My mother to this day tries to push for me to be perfect(I am 28!).  Anything less is unacceptable unless it is her we are talking about.  She is the vain mom who can't leave the house without hair, make-up, and clothes looking just so-so.  Heaven forbid I decide not to wear make-up to school in highschool or wear a hat to go to the store.  She pushed for my brother and I to be number one at all things.  My brother is her pride and joy so I always came up short next to him.  Even my brother admits that.  Thankfully the two of us still can relate and are great support for each other.  A "B" was unacceptable and anything less than varsity was embarrasing to her.  My brother was a much more compliant child.  I on the other hand dug my heels in on somethings when I got older.  One example: My junior year I refused to participate in basketball giving up my varsity spot because I was sick of dealing with my mother and falling short.  She never made me exercise at a young age or actually placed me on a specific diet, but I still struggle today with poor body image.  She would make comments and do things that made me feel ugly and fat.  I refuse to pass this issue onto my daughter!  The cycle ends here.  She is a verbally abusing mother due to her wanting me to be perfect.  Recently she even blamed me for my son's severe food allergies!  I now know the reason is her own insecurities, poor body image, and low self-esteem.  I don't allow her to push this onto my children.  My daughter (4) dressed herself in clothes that didn't match.  I don't mind.  I am happy she got her shirt and pants picked and on by herself!  My mother tried to get her to change before we went shopping.  I pulled her away and put her in her place and made it clear never to push this crap on my children.  Anyway, I can go on forever on how she pushes for perfection.  I think our flaws give us character and help us grow.  Just as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" so is perfection.  My children are perfect to me with all their flaws and if they have given something the best they can do then they have succeeded.  I want my children to feel confident in trying new things unlike me who was/at times is still afraid of falling short.  I strive to overcome all the self doubt my mother installed in me in order to protect my children from the long term pain it causes.  Perfectionist moms - STOP PASSING YOUR ISSUES ONTO YOUR CHILDREN!  DEAL WITH THEM!
 
March 30, 2008, 1:44 pm CDT

04/03 Perfectionist Moms

Quote From: newsoul

I could be on this show!  My mother to this day tries to push for me to be perfect(I am 28!).  Anything less is unacceptable unless it is her we are talking about.  She is the vain mom who can't leave the house without hair, make-up, and clothes looking just so-so.  Heaven forbid I decide not to wear make-up to school in highschool or wear a hat to go to the store.  She pushed for my brother and I to be number one at all things.  My brother is her pride and joy so I always came up short next to him.  Even my brother admits that.  Thankfully the two of us still can relate and are great support for each other.  A "B" was unacceptable and anything less than varsity was embarrasing to her.  My brother was a much more compliant child.  I on the other hand dug my heels in on somethings when I got older.  One example: My junior year I refused to participate in basketball giving up my varsity spot because I was sick of dealing with my mother and falling short.  She never made me exercise at a young age or actually placed me on a specific diet, but I still struggle today with poor body image.  She would make comments and do things that made me feel ugly and fat.  I refuse to pass this issue onto my daughter!  The cycle ends here.  She is a verbally abusing mother due to her wanting me to be perfect.  Recently she even blamed me for my son's severe food allergies!  I now know the reason is her own insecurities, poor body image, and low self-esteem.  I don't allow her to push this onto my children.  My daughter (4) dressed herself in clothes that didn't match.  I don't mind.  I am happy she got her shirt and pants picked and on by herself!  My mother tried to get her to change before we went shopping.  I pulled her away and put her in her place and made it clear never to push this crap on my children.  Anyway, I can go on forever on how she pushes for perfection.  I think our flaws give us character and help us grow.  Just as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" so is perfection.  My children are perfect to me with all their flaws and if they have given something the best they can do then they have succeeded.  I want my children to feel confident in trying new things unlike me who was/at times is still afraid of falling short.  I strive to overcome all the self doubt my mother installed in me in order to protect my children from the long term pain it causes.  Perfectionist moms - STOP PASSING YOUR ISSUES ONTO YOUR CHILDREN!  DEAL WITH THEM!

 

           Do you have the feeling your mother had a "yardstick," a high set of standards that she measured your growth and ability--and you always came up short of the mark?

         My mother also had a competitive nature.  She competed with me.  She simply could not stop herself.  It was as if she was obsessed with being the prettiest, smartest, and  sweetest.  She flirted with my boyfriends, 14 or 44.  She did this because she wanted them to know that she was a better woman than I am.  She was the best cook.  She was the talented artist. 

       Etc. Etc. Etc.  

 
March 30, 2008, 7:42 pm CDT

I feel your pain!

Quote From: derevna33

 

           Do you have the feeling your mother had a "yardstick," a high set of standards that she measured your growth and ability--and you always came up short of the mark?

         My mother also had a competitive nature.  She competed with me.  She simply could not stop herself.  It was as if she was obsessed with being the prettiest, smartest, and  sweetest.  She flirted with my boyfriends, 14 or 44.  She did this because she wanted them to know that she was a better woman than I am.  She was the best cook.  She was the talented artist. 

       Etc. Etc. Etc.  

Yes, I have and always will fall short.  My mother is more like a evil competitive sister than a mother.  She never went after my boyfriends but I understant the rest!  It has even been so ridiculous that after my husband and I bought a new car, she bought one that was same color but one model upgrade and a next year!  She tried to convience my dad to build a new home after she found out we were building one.  Recently I bought a laptop - guess who had to buy one and try to get more upgrades.  It is pathetic.  She uses anything she can do bring me down.  I don't trust her and it is sad that she has made this our relationship.  I have learned to take the good and leave the bad otherwise I wouldn't have a relationship with her.  At least I know I will be a better mom to my kids and build them up in hopes they are even more successful than I am!  What a piece of work out mothers are huh?!  My dad stays silent about all this because she will make his life a living hell if he did anything against her.  How does you dad react?  I wish he would have stood up for me against her evil ways when I was younger.  My mother also hides behind God and uses religion as a reason for all she does even if it hurts me.  I have a wonderful relationship with God and don't agree with how fanatical she is.  Insecurities obviously.

 
March 30, 2008, 8:24 pm CDT

04/03 Perfectionist Moms

Quote From: ramair

Constantly badgered about her weight, forced to work out when from the age of six, if 13-year-old  Lexie doesn't already have an eating disorder, it's a wonder!
And, Annie! Forced into "beauty" pageants from toddlerhood on, robbed of her childhood, I wonder what kind of relationships she'll have with men.
She'll make a therapist a lot of money someday.....they both will.
 
March 31, 2008, 9:16 am CDT

ELEVEN COMMANDMENTS FOR HOW TO TREAT OTHERS

In general, we don't learn much about healthy communication skills and interaction techniques in school or in our culture.  The only way we learn how to communicate and interact in relationships as adults is by what we see in our homes as we are growing up. 

 

 

HOW TO TREAT OTHERS (including family members): 

 

1.  Be kind, think kind thoughts, and use kind words

2.  Be gentle

3.  Take turns, be fair and share

4.  Be polite

5.  Care about others

6.  Be helpful and set healthy boundaries

7.  Listen attentively and be a worthy confidant

8.  Respect the thoughts and feelings of others

9.  Give encouragement 

10. Cooperate with others

11.  Respect other people's property

 

How to get posters for your family:

www.teachchildren.com/0768213932.html  

 

 

If you grew up in a family where you had to yell to be heard or acknowledged, while your partner grew up in a family where emotional outbursts were ignored or not tolerated, your divergent communication and interaction styles are going to get in the way of your long-term healthy bonding (with your partner and others). 

 

Hope it helps!

 

 

 
March 31, 2008, 9:27 am CDT

04/03 Perfectionist Moms

Quote From: newsoul

Yes, I have and always will fall short.  My mother is more like a evil competitive sister than a mother.  She never went after my boyfriends but I understant the rest!  It has even been so ridiculous that after my husband and I bought a new car, she bought one that was same color but one model upgrade and a next year!  She tried to convience my dad to build a new home after she found out we were building one.  Recently I bought a laptop - guess who had to buy one and try to get more upgrades.  It is pathetic.  She uses anything she can do bring me down.  I don't trust her and it is sad that she has made this our relationship.  I have learned to take the good and leave the bad otherwise I wouldn't have a relationship with her.  At least I know I will be a better mom to my kids and build them up in hopes they are even more successful than I am!  What a piece of work out mothers are huh?!  My dad stays silent about all this because she will make his life a living hell if he did anything against her.  How does you dad react?  I wish he would have stood up for me against her evil ways when I was younger.  My mother also hides behind God and uses religion as a reason for all she does even if it hurts me.  I have a wonderful relationship with God and don't agree with how fanatical she is.  Insecurities obviously.

 

        What can your father do?  He supports me as much as he can.  Like you said, he has to live with her.  And, the poor man loves us both. 

       Over time, I have learned not to expect any more.  And, if I told anyone--other than my sister--they'd never believe me.  My mother was once the First Runner- up for Idaho's Mother of the Year in the National "Contest."   When the officials called, and they asked me about my relationship with her . . . I could've won an Oscar.  Not even Bette Davis could have told a better lie than that.  "I hope I grow up and I raise my own children as well as my mother raised me." 

        My mother once called the priest, inquiring about him performing an exorcism on me.  The Exorcist was the number one movie of the year, and Mom loves high drama.

      I could go on and on.

   

 
March 31, 2008, 9:32 am CDT

Some partents just don't get it....

For the past 14 years I have enjoyed parenthood. My daughter and son are the best, in my eyes. I don't push them unless they need a little encouragement. I have a sister that is so totally stupid to parenting that I can't stand to be with her as she talks about her "perfect children". She has two children, a daughter that is rude, total self-absorbed, spoiled, and lazy. A son that is mouthy and has to be the center of attention all the time, his little songs are totally annoying, and most often stupid anyway, by the way she is 11, and he is 6. I hear the "wonderful" stories about her children every time we are together. The trouble is she doesn't see the whole picture. Her daughter Samantha, is the most obnoxous child the good Lord ever created. She expects and get everything she wants. She is lazy, overweight, and won't listen to anyone. She has problems with authority, any kind of authority. She doesn't listen to her parents, her grandparents, or teachers. While at my house I expect and get respect, she knows  she can't pull that crap with me. I will NOT accept it. She tells my 14 year old daughter, "Your Mom's a **tch." My daughter simply answers, no she just doesn't put up with that crap. I think that says more that anything.

Parents that always say, my child has to be perfect, are kidding themselves. There is not such thing as perfect. The pressures of being a kid todays are enough for them to handle, why add the perfect stress on top of it. Perfection is simply a figment of someones imagination. It doesn't exist. Mom has the issue with perfection, not the kids. I say let them alone. Teach them the difference between right and wrong, guide them to make the right decisions. And step in when asked or needed. And encourage them.

 
March 31, 2008, 4:11 pm CDT

04/03 Perfectionist Moms

Quote From: anaj_67

For the past 14 years I have enjoyed parenthood. My daughter and son are the best, in my eyes. I don't push them unless they need a little encouragement. I have a sister that is so totally stupid to parenting that I can't stand to be with her as she talks about her "perfect children". She has two children, a daughter that is rude, total self-absorbed, spoiled, and lazy. A son that is mouthy and has to be the center of attention all the time, his little songs are totally annoying, and most often stupid anyway, by the way she is 11, and he is 6. I hear the "wonderful" stories about her children every time we are together. The trouble is she doesn't see the whole picture. Her daughter Samantha, is the most obnoxous child the good Lord ever created. She expects and get everything she wants. She is lazy, overweight, and won't listen to anyone. She has problems with authority, any kind of authority. She doesn't listen to her parents, her grandparents, or teachers. While at my house I expect and get respect, she knows  she can't pull that crap with me. I will NOT accept it. She tells my 14 year old daughter, "Your Mom's a **tch." My daughter simply answers, no she just doesn't put up with that crap. I think that says more that anything.

Parents that always say, my child has to be perfect, are kidding themselves. There is not such thing as perfect. The pressures of being a kid todays are enough for them to handle, why add the perfect stress on top of it. Perfection is simply a figment of someones imagination. It doesn't exist. Mom has the issue with perfection, not the kids. I say let them alone. Teach them the difference between right and wrong, guide them to make the right decisions. And step in when asked or needed. And encourage them.

 

      When you have a family holiday, do you and your sister get together and talk about your kids?  By this, I mean, do you engage in a competition with one another?  "My kids are better than your kids."   A no-holds-bared, out-and-out competition?  Do you care that if you can not win this competition, your sister has to lose?

      Mom and her sister used to do this every time they saw one another.  My mortified cousins and I discussed this, privately.  It was embarrassing.  "Oh, I can deal with your mother.  It's insulting, but I can deal with it."  I told them.  "What I can't deal with is my own mother!  She's so determined to get in the last word!"

 

        

 
March 31, 2008, 8:12 pm CDT

Exorcist

Quote From: derevna33

 

        What can your father do?  He supports me as much as he can.  Like you said, he has to live with her.  And, the poor man loves us both. 

       Over time, I have learned not to expect any more.  And, if I told anyone--other than my sister--they'd never believe me.  My mother was once the First Runner- up for Idaho's Mother of the Year in the National "Contest."   When the officials called, and they asked me about my relationship with her . . . I could've won an Oscar.  Not even Bette Davis could have told a better lie than that.  "I hope I grow up and I raise my own children as well as my mother raised me." 

        My mother once called the priest, inquiring about him performing an exorcism on me.  The Exorcist was the number one movie of the year, and Mom loves high drama.

      I could go on and on.

   

Exorcism?  HAHA!  I am suprised my mom didn't request that.  I have several tattoos and she thinks because of them I have invited satan into my family.  I have done so many things that she thinks will reserve my spot in hell!  I have to laugh now when I think about it all.  Our poor dads are in a bad position.  No one would believe all the things she has done to me either.  She puts on a great mask for the rest of the world.  My husband and best friend see it all and they almost get more upset about it than I do.  They are great support for the things she still does to me.  How sad that we feel obligated to lie to protect them; they don't try to protect us.  Typical is abuse relationships - I consider my relationship with her to be emotionally and verbally abusive.

 
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