“Perfect!” This is one of the many statements of praise that I say to my daughter when she sounds out spelling a word, or, does something that I classify as great work. I say it to acknowledge her efforts, to help her feel proud of her work; build confidence. 

But, the other day, my daughter said that her teacher says, “nothing is perfect, in our classroom”. 

This statement, made me think; really think. 

Perhaps my statement is doing the exact opposite of what I thought. Instead of boosting her confidence, is it silently putting unnecessary pressure on her to be–perfect? 

Striving for perfection, to be a “perfectionist” is not what I want for my daughter. It’s a mirage. It’s a pathway going nowhere, laid with bricks of frustration. 

Of course, I will continue to celebrate my daughter’s successes, my son’s achievements. But, I am going to be more mindful of my word choices, for praising my kids. 

There are enough pressures out there. The pressure to be perfect and do perfect work, should not be one of them.