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

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Aspie1
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15 Jul 2022, 9:43 pm

Parents, imagine if you had a "perfect" child. By that I mean child like this.

He obeys your every command unquestioningly like the Terminator. (Even, hypothetically, "Throw your favorite stuffed animal into the fireplace right now!".) He has impeccable manners, and always says the right thing at exactly the right time. He eats everything he's served, even mushy, flavorless broccoli. He goes to bed at night when told or even a little early, and falls asleep the moment his head hits the pillow. He takes naps right when told, stays in bed, and doesn't get up until you say so. He brushes his teeth without being reminded. He gets straight A's in every subject, and willingly does extra credit. On rare occasions he goes out, he gets home exactly when told, if not early, no matter how much fun he loses as a result. He never gets nightmares, or least doesn't complain about them. He's not afraid of the dark. He wakes up bright and early on school days, and sleeps in on weekends. He never gets sick or injured (except for extremely rare ER-level stuff). He keeps his room spotlessly clean. He keeps his drawings neatly hidden away in a folder. He does the dishes every night. He watches TV only rarely and even then, just educational shows. He regularly donates his old toys to charity, even ones he used to cherish. And he often willingly gives up his TV time to do extra chores for you.

It seems like that's who my parents tried to make me into, and ruthlessly at that.

So... how would parents feel about such a child? Would they love him more than they would love a less "perfect" child? Or would they not respect him at all? (In a thread from a few years ago, I posted a question whether parents respect bad kids more, and the implied answer was "yes".)

Discuss!



Last edited by Aspie1 on 15 Jul 2022, 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fnord
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15 Jul 2022, 9:57 pm

Does this “child” run on Linux or Windows? Does Amazon ship it directly from the factory in Stepford, Connecticut? Are batteries included?



Aspie1
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15 Jul 2022, 10:02 pm

Fnord wrote:
Does this “child” run on Linux or Windows? Does Amazon ship it directly from the factory in Stepford, Connecticut? Are batteries included?
He runs on a beating heart, which is included. And he's shipped from the maternity ward of your local hospital, FOB mother's arms. The price is whatever out-of-pocket portion your insurance doesn't cover.

It's a hypothetical child. But I'm genuinely curious about how parents would feel about a "perfect" child like this. Would they genuinely love him or quietly despise him?



cyberdad
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15 Jul 2022, 10:26 pm

A perfect child is one who is independent early and does not need to rely on their parents



Fnord
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15 Jul 2022, 11:02 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Does this “child” run on Linux or Windows? Does Amazon ship it directly from the factory in Stepford, Connecticut? Are batteries included?
He runs on a beating heart, which is included. And he's shipped from the maternity ward of your local hospital, FOB mother's arms. The price is whatever out-of-pocket portion your insurance doesn't cover.

It's a hypothetical child. But I'm genuinely curious about how parents would feel about a "perfect" child like this. Would they genuinely love him or quietly despise him?
As a parent, I know the behavior you described is not normal for a child. The child you described would either be heavily medicated, lobotomized, or otherwise brain-damaged. I would report his parents to Child Welfare Services, and maybe the police as well.



IsabellaLinton
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15 Jul 2022, 11:19 pm

Chances are I'd love my children no matter how they acted.
I wouldn't enjoy being a controlling parent because I'm not organised enough.
If their natural personality was "perfect" or "imperfect" I'd love them equally.

My kids are very opposite as it is, and I had to parent in two diametrically opposed ways 24/7.
That doesn't make one better or more worthy of respect than the other.



cyberdad
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16 Jul 2022, 12:24 am

Parents always subconsciously compare their children. Unconditional love doesn't mean you would aspire for your child to be like some idealised perfect child.



Aspie1
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16 Jul 2022, 8:41 am

cyberdad wrote:
Parents always subconsciously compare their children. Unconditional love doesn't mean you would aspire for your child to be like some idealised perfect child.
True. But what if a child was "perfect" in every way? How would parents feel about such a child? Hence this thread.



timf
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16 Jul 2022, 11:33 am

Your description of a "perfect child" sounds like one that requires no work from the parents. The falling birth rate might be indicative of the way many approach the "problem", simply do not have children. However the selfishness of the parents who want things easy is in itself child-like in a way.

One might think of selfishness as native to children. One might think of skillful selfishness as native to Asperger children. For parents who are clueless in raising children, Asperger children can be even more difficult.

A parent who extends love to their 13 year old child all the while the child expresses contempt for them shows endurance. The parent of an Asperger child who shows contempt for them for 20 years shows a super level of endurance.

Most parents are like a person who bought a car only to find out he had to assemble it himself. Most have no idea the work, sacrifice, tears, and pain they will experience.

The movie D.A.R.Y.L. touches on the reaction a couple would have to a "perfect' (robot) child.



Joe90
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16 Jul 2022, 11:37 am

To every parent this is the ideal child but because presumably no child has ever been this perfect before nobody will really know. Even if your child was this perfect, there'd still be something for the parent to yell about. Or if the child was this perfect the parents would probably think there's something wrong with the child! 8O


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funeralxempire
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16 Jul 2022, 3:13 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Parents always subconsciously compare their children. Unconditional love doesn't mean you would aspire for your child to be like some idealised perfect child.
True. But what if a child was "perfect" in every way? How would parents feel about such a child? Hence this thread.


The problem with 'perfect' in contexts like this is that it tends to become a set of moving goalposts.

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.

It seems perfect until it's noticed to be an overcorrection and too extreme in that direction to actually be what's ideal, the goalposts get moved and what's perfect now isn't what was perfect yesterday.


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16 Jul 2022, 3:24 pm

I wouldn’t want my child to unquestioningly obey my every command. Even I, on extremely rare occasions, can be wrong. :lol:

Nonetheless, I would love my children no matter what. All kids have unique needs that require an individualized approach.

I have noticed that it can be easier for some parents to understand and connect with their children when they are like themselves.


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babybird
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16 Jul 2022, 3:33 pm

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



MuddRM
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16 Jul 2022, 3:51 pm

The church I grew up in only had 2 rules for raising children:

1. Spare the rod, spoil the child.

2. To make a child 100% to your will, and to the will of God, you have to break them in the same way you break a horse: with extreme cruelty and violence.



klanka
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16 Jul 2022, 3:55 pm

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



cyberdad
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16 Jul 2022, 7:25 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
Parents always subconsciously compare their children. Unconditional love doesn't mean you would aspire for your child to be like some idealised perfect child.
True. But what if a child was "perfect" in every way? How would parents feel about such a child? Hence this thread.


Ask your local Asian "tiger mom", I'm sure they will help you find flaws