How do/would parents feel about a "perfect" child?

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cyberdad
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16 Jul 2022, 7:28 pm

babybird wrote:
I'd be a bit worried if my child was extremely compliant. I'd think I had done something wrong.


Compliance would be nice...



shortfatbalduglyman
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16 Jul 2022, 10:48 pm

there is no such thing as perfection.

nobody is perfect.

the perfect character of a CIA interrogator differs from the perfect character of a psychologist.

not all parents have the same "ideal child" definition.

not all parents would react to the "ideal child" the same way.

what is "ideal" in one situation is not ideal in a different situation



cyberdad
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17 Jul 2022, 1:20 am

perfection is in the eye of the beholder so I guess it's construct validity needs elaboration



lostonearth35
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17 Jul 2022, 1:42 am

Someone should make a talking doll called "My Perfect Kid". It would say the following phrases:

"You're the best parent a kid ever had!"

"I love school. A good education is extremely invaluable!"

"I'm going to have my bath now so I'll be able to get to bed on time."

"I ate my liver and all of my vegetables. Iron helps us play!"

"I don't need an increase in my allowance, it can't buy me happiness anyway."

"I love you."

"Let me do the dishes! You work so hard so that we can have food in the first place."

"You're right, I should wait until I'm at least 18 before I start dating."



Joe90
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17 Jul 2022, 5:14 am

There is no such thing as a perfect human. If you've ever seen Horrid Henry, you'll see that Perfect Peter is actually far from perfect.


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Caz72
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17 Jul 2022, 5:16 am

i might of been perfect as i never spoke til i was 8 and i never ever had tantrums or meltdowns or anything and i never screamed ever

i bet every parent and every non parent wishes every child could be a silent as that!


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kraftiekortie
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17 Jul 2022, 5:23 am

Nope….I like a kid with a little spirit—though I would hope he/she respects me enough to at least seek to understand why I, say, discourage them from hanging out with drug addicts.



Aspie1
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17 Jul 2022, 10:14 am

funeralxempire wrote:
The kid who never digs in on issues might be perfect until they come home bloodied because that same never digging in also comes out as never standing up for themselves or when they collapse from a medical issue they convinced themselves wasn't worth bringing up, or wasn't worth arguing over when it was dismissed as not serious.
Ah... but a "perfect" child never gets sick or injured, except for simple colds, where a teaspoon of NyQuil helps, or ER-level stuff, where "perfection" isn't a priority. So his parents wouldn't have worry about it.

klanka wrote:
Unfortunately I have to admit I would keep pushing him to do more just to see when he breaks and says 'no', maybe to get him to stand up for himself
This sound so horrible, that if it were done to an animal, it'd be grounds for a felony charge of animal cruelty. (Which Donald Trump signed into law.) And if you have to bully/push a child into "standing up for himself", it's too late and the damage is done.



funeralxempire
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17 Jul 2022, 3:10 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
The kid who never digs in on issues might be perfect until they come home bloodied because that same never digging in also comes out as never standing up for themselves or when they collapse from a medical issue they convinced themselves wasn't worth bringing up, or wasn't worth arguing over when it was dismissed as not serious.
Ah... but a "perfect" child never gets sick or injured, except for simple colds, where a teaspoon of NyQuil helps, or ER-level stuff, where "perfection" isn't a priority. So his parents wouldn't have worry about it.


Perfect doesn't exist though, not even as a hypothetical. That's my point. Perfect isn't a consistent point, it's a point that moves relative to the person making the assessment based on their needs and desires.

One person's 'perfect kid' might be quite different from another's, but beyond that some traits may be desirable at some times but not others.

Someone might desire a kid who's very independent, up until they want to parent them and discover the kid barely needs them except as a source of money. Someone else might desire a kid who isn't very independent so they're less trouble, only to realize they're never going to manage living on their own.

So on, so forth.


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DW_a_mom
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17 Jul 2022, 4:15 pm

If that is who the child naturally is, and who they want to be, then they certainly will end up being less work for a parent.

But the level of work a parent has to do is not what earns love. In contrast, I got much closer to my kids when I had to help them through their struggles.

I may tend to run towards easy and away from hard when it comes to actualizing personal relationships, but having that tendency challenged is better for me than living a life that simply gives into it.

What I wanted, and still want, for my kids, and what I believe most parents want for their kids, is for them to live as their best selves, whatever that looked like. I had personal visions for them and who they might be, but never wanted those visions to be realized at the expense of either child's living to the fullest as who they actually were, with the one caveat that they do need to be decent people who don't hurt or live at the expense of others. It was never their job to grow into a mold of who I thought I wanted them to be, outside of that one caveat.

I had friends who raised children who naturally were as you described. There was never, ever, a point in time where I wanted to trade my kids for theirs. My kids were, and still are, far more interesting and entertaining and just all around fulfilling to engage with. Doesn't mean I never hoped my kids would get better at voluntarily doing chores, but that isn't the same as wanting them to be different people.

Consider, for a second, even the conversations you and I have. I will challenge you, disagree with you, and don't agree with you on almost anything politically or lifestyle-wise, yet I hope you've noticed that I am still genuinely and sincerely happy for you that you've found paths and relationships that are fulfilling for you. I know in my core that people need to be who they were meant to be, and that includes the fascinating humans I've had the privilege to raise.


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Last edited by DW_a_mom on 17 Jul 2022, 4:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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17 Jul 2022, 4:19 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
One person's 'perfect kid' might be quite different from another's, but beyond that some traits may be desirable at some times but not others.

My mother was more idealistic when she was young, so that she thought that a unique and gifted child was so important. Even if had some defects.
But when she entered middle age, she hoped I would be more mediocre, only needs I could take care of myself like a normal person. "Be ordinary".


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17 Jul 2022, 4:39 pm

SkinnedWolf wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
One person's 'perfect kid' might be quite different from another's, but beyond that some traits may be desirable at some times but not others.

My mother was more idealistic when she was young, so that she thought that a unique and gifted child was so important. Even if had some defects.
But when she entered middle age, she hoped I would be more mediocre, only needs I could take care of myself like a normal person. "Be ordinary".


Be ordinary turns out to be a unreasonable expectation. :oops:


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17 Jul 2022, 5:46 pm

SkinnedWolf wrote:
My mother was more idealistic when she was young, so that she thought that a unique and gifted child was so important. Even if had some defects.
But when she entered middle age, she hoped I would be more mediocre, only needs I could take care of myself like a normal person. "Be ordinary".

I was like that too, but toward myself. (My parents, it seems, wanted a straight-A genius with no extra work on their part.) I used to like the fact that was smart, while also realizing that there was something "wrong" with it. It wasn't until I got older that I realized that "ordinary" people are more popular and have an easier time navigating society. (And navigating therapy too, I'm sure.)

Come to think of it, a PUA book I own says: "learn to proudly say 'I don't know' at least once a day", to teach men to avoid being a know-it-all, as it's a very unattractive trait. It took me decades to realize the book is right. Today, it's pretty rare for me to say anything intelligent, and when I do, it's only in situations that really warrant it. And when I do it, I proudly own the statement.



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17 Jul 2022, 5:58 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
SkinnedWolf wrote:
My mother was more idealistic when she was young, so that she thought that a unique and gifted child was so important. Even if had some defects.
But when she entered middle age, she hoped I would be more mediocre, only needs I could take care of myself like a normal person. "Be ordinary".

I was like that too, but toward myself. (My parents, it seems, wanted a straight-A genius with no extra work on their part.) I used to like the fact that was smart, while also realizing that there was something "wrong" with it. It wasn't until I got older that I realized that "ordinary" people are more popular and have an easier time navigating society. (And navigating therapy too, I'm sure.)

Come to think of it, a PUA book I own says: "learn to proudly say 'I don't know' at least once a day", to teach men to avoid being a know-it-all, as it's a very unattractive trait. It took me decades to realize the book is right. Today, it's pretty rare for me to say anything intelligent, and when I do, it's only in situations that really warrant it. And when I do it, I proudly own the statement.

First, why does your behavior pattern mainly depend on "whether unattractive"?

Second, the strongest attraction for me is the knowledge or insight I need in the field of knowledge I intend to develop.


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Aspie1
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17 Jul 2022, 6:12 pm

SkinnedWolf wrote:
First, why does your behavior pattern mainly depend on "whether unattractive"?

Second, the strongest attraction for me is the knowledge or insight I need in the field of knowledge I intend to develop.

First, a man's respect-worthiness includes, but isn't limited to, sexual desirability among women. If a man isn't attractive sexually, then more likely than not, he's also not respected socially. So you have to do what's necessary to be respected.

Second, I'll allow some cultural differences here: your location says "China". The American culture, and perhaps the Western culture as a whole, is very anti-intellectual. Being smart makes you useful to people, but it doesn't get you respect.



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18 Jul 2022, 12:13 am

Aspie1 wrote:
Being smart makes you useful to people, but it doesn't get you respect.


Outside of a few caveats, I do not agree with this statement. Being known as smart has garnered me a LOT of respect throughout my life. There were ages and stages it wasn't useful but, overall, especially once I learned when and where to yield it, it's been a very solid ticket through life for me. From what I've observed, the same is true for all my family members (husband, son, daughter). The look of respect of I've seen in people's eyes as they say "your husband/son/daughter is so smart" is obvious. But I do think there is time and place involved. People don't respect arrogance.


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