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Topic : 08/01 Perfectionist Moms

Number of Replies: 309
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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 28, 2008, 10:06 pm CDT

04/03 Perfectionist Moms

You know what they say...if your goal is to be perfect you will always fall short.
 
March 29, 2008, 6:20 am CDT

04/03 Perfectionist Moms

There are no perfect people,so there will never be any perfect parents or perfect children. As my children were growing up, we supported them in whatever activities they asked to do. The one requirement was that they had to finish what they started. For ex., if they wanted to be involved in a rec sport, they had to finish out that particular season. We felt that having them follow through with something would help them in the long run. Also, it cost us money to get them into whatever they wanted to do and we didn't want to fork up the cash and then have them decide they had changed thier mind.
 
March 29, 2008, 6:26 am CDT

Other problems

I have worked in education for a few years as a private tutor and it has been my experience that parents who are obsessed with their children being 'perfect' often have deep emotional issues with feelings of inadequacy, low self esteem or even obsession.

 

They often focus on their children and do everything that they can to make them 'perfect' so that they can feel that although they themselves aren't without flaws, they made this perfect person and that is a point of pride for them.

 

This, however, often backfires.

 

When the kids show they aren't perfect, the parents often push them hard to excell, sabotaging their own children's ability to suceed and feel good about themselves. Nothing the child does is ever good enough for them. If they got a B on a hard test, they are often berated on why they didn't get an A instead. If they try out for a school play and got a supporting role, parents will ask 'why didn't you get the lead?'

 

The kids often end up feeling like a 'wind up toy' or 'performing animal' (their words, not mine) and quickly get sick of it. This leads to them feeling bad about themselves, because they feel that the people that are supposed to be proud of them and love them unconditionally, think that they don't measure up and those types of feelings can last a life time.

 

My advice: cut these kids some slack, let them be kids and love them for who they are. Because that ensures happiness for everyone involved.

 
March 29, 2008, 9:31 am CDT

04/03 Perfectionist Moms

Quote From: rainpainrain

You know what they say...if your goal is to be perfect you will always fall short.
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.
 
March 29, 2008, 9:37 am CDT

04/03 Perfectionist Moms

Quote From: housewife52

There are no perfect people,so there will never be any perfect parents or perfect children. As my children were growing up, we supported them in whatever activities they asked to do. The one requirement was that they had to finish what they started. For ex., if they wanted to be involved in a rec sport, they had to finish out that particular season. We felt that having them follow through with something would help them in the long run. Also, it cost us money to get them into whatever they wanted to do and we didn't want to fork up the cash and then have them decide they had changed thier mind.
That makes sense. Don't live your missed-out-on lives through your kids. If you didn't make it on the pageant circuit, don't force it on your kids. And, even where you succeeded, it might not be a good "fit" for you kids. Let them pursue their own interests. But, insist that they finish the season.
 
March 29, 2008, 9:51 am CDT

Perfect Children

 I am one of five children, the only girl, of a mother obsessed with her children being perfect.  She lived her life through us, making sure our education and outside activities suited her needs, not ours.  It did not matter what we wanted to study or persue as hobbies, if she was against it, we were not allowed that activity.  The boys seemed to be able to tell her what they wanted and expected but I was not allowed because I was a girl and my life was mapped out for me.

I can tell you that it did alienate me from my mother.  I could not wait to get out of high school and go away to college.  I thought I would then be allowed to lead my own life.  Mom had other ideas.  She expected me to come back home, marry, produce children and then take care of her and dad in their old age.  I did marry and begin a family but as soon as my husband found a job out of state, we moved away.  I cannot tell you the freedom that gave me as my husband recognized my intelligence and encouraged me to finish my college and do what I wanted to do (within the bounds of motherhood).  I was finally controlling my interests.  It is sad that I had to move over 300 miles from mom to realize this freedom.

Nothing was ever good enough for mom.  I don't know if I ever got her praise and the recognition every child craves.  Bring home a 95 on a test and get asked why I didn't get a 100.  Place second or third in a dance or twirling contest and get extra practice before the next competition so I would come in first.  Little did she know that I would mess up on purpose.  It was the only control I seemed to have in my life. 

My husband and I encouraged and supported our children in the things that interested them.  They were encouraged to go to college and study what they wanted.  The oldest followed music and the youngest wanted to follow theater.  My mom made the comment to me "I can't believe that you have allowed your children to study that in college." 

I hope these moms realize they are just pushing their children away.  And if they are typical kids, they will run, fast and faraway, as soon as they can.



 
March 29, 2008, 10:05 am CDT

Strive for Excellence - not perfection!

Children are born with their own "bent", and mom's that push their aspirations or perfection on always turn out to be loosers.  These children grow up to suffer as adults.  Children need to be nutured and helped to decide what they want to do in life and then support them in every way.  Pushing, yelling, and embarrassing them is a good way to break your child's spirit.  This mother has other issues of her own, that is why she is pushing perfection.  Perhaps she, herself, missed something in her childhood.  Perhaps, her self-esteem is such that she needs to build it through her children.  Whatever, it is, I feel Dr. Phil needs to suggest good counseling for this mother as well as the daughter.  They both need to learn to deal with what has happened in their life.  I do feel, we can always strive for excellence - but perfection is not attainable and you will always end up a looser! 
 
March 29, 2008, 12:11 pm CDT

Doctor Phil Show

Doctor Moms Perfectionist Phil. I wonder if Robin was that way. Doctor Phil has Robin been a good Moth---er latley when she is a Mother? I think so. See you on Thursday April 03rd, 2008. Sincerley Your. Russell---

Vlaanderen.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 
March 29, 2008, 1:18 pm CDT

Perfectionist Moms

  I think I understand how some people feel.  My adapted mother wanted to push me harder.  I realize later in life that she was doing this so that I could excell in the things that she didn't or couldn't do.  I often felt frustrated, angry and sometimes out of control.  I put more pressure on myself to do better.  Often times, I heard, "You can do better than that, or you can try harder."  The message that I got was clear, no matter how hard I tried it was not good enough to meet my mother's expectations.  My adopted father realized that I did the best that I could do, even though it was a C on a paper.  He would often praise me and said something like, "Good job!'   He left it at that.  My mother would continue to bother me, really made me feel guilty and angry.  Out of my anger I worked harder, but I did it only to please her and not myself. 

 

Later on in life, I often felt that sometimes my boss would expect more from me, because I was a perfectionsist.  If I messed up, they were surprised and often I had the feeling, like I did not expect that from you, I thought you could do better.  The more I try to please someone, the more demanding they became. 

 

Example, caring for  a child in my special ed classroom.  The child's mother put more pressure on me to meet her child's goals.  I've lost one day, and stated something like, "Look lady, give me a break!!!  I'm doing the best I can to help your child in the classroom, but I also have 7 other children that need my attention too."  Meaning that your child is not the only one in the classroom.  I felt very pressured to meet the demands of this parent.  Next thing that I knew I was in my coordinator's office explaining why I wrote that comment on the daily sheet.  The poor child!  He was only 3 years old, with several medical and special needs, but. I wanted him to experience what it was like to be a child.  If he was not eating or sleeping he was  in therapy.  His mother signed him up for extra therapy sessions.  He had therapy on Saturday and Sunday!  He sometimes cry, which was his way of complaining that he was tired and he just wanted to play!

 

Today, I catch myself in trying to do better. At times, I realize that I have to let things go.  Even though I may hear it from my boss.  I then tell my boss, I'm only human and there is so much that I can do in a day.  I do meet all of my deadlines and have always turned in my papers, reports, etc. on time .  My coworkers know that I'm a perfectionist and it drives them crazy!  I hear from them, "It's okay, let it go!"

 

I do receive praise from my boss, yesterday she commented that I was a team player and thanked me for stepping in and filling in for the people and other staff.  In fact she left me in charge at the end of the day, so that she could leave early.  It feels good to hear praise from other people, makes the work worthwhile.

 
March 29, 2008, 1:28 pm CDT

Stop Pushing

Hey parents stop trying to live your youths again through your kids. That is what you are doing, I have three kids that all played sports (one a son). The only time that  they stopped playing is when the season was over and they told us that they didn't want to play anymore. We never pushed put supported them. One daughter got a college scholarship in academics and for volleyball

 
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