As a homeschooling mom, I spend the best part of everyday with my children. They witness and learn from my character and actions every day. But there is one problem, I am a perfectionist. What effect will this have on my children?
I have spent much
time reading and reflecting on perfectionism and parenting, and wanted to
answer the question: Are Perfectionists Bad Mothers?
Parenting as a perfectionists
The short answer to this question is: Yes, they can be bad
mothers IF they don’t do something to control it.
Of course being a perfectionist has its positive points. The
house is usually presentable, there is home-cooked food for every meal, the children
are dressed well; but underlying this outward image is an inner struggle and
discontentment with every action and every effort.
I come from a long line of perfectionists and no doubt at
least one of my children will follow me in this.
New studies have shown that
perfectionism is primarily a genetic trait, and the parenting and the
environment a child is exposed to only play a secondary role. This means that
perfectionist parents not only have to deal with their own drive for
perfection, but also their children’s too!
If a perfectionist mother has such high expectations on
herself, then it only follows that she too will have high expectations for her
children. If she cannot tolerate her own imperfections, she will not tolerate
them in her child. This inevitably leads to the child feeling that her parents
are constantly dissatisfied with her, and feeling inadequate.
Perfectionist parents often confuse their own sense of
self-worth with their child’s, feeling that if the child looks good, then I
look good. However when the child does not behave as the mother feels is
acceptable, then the mother takes that personally as it reflects badly on her.
This internal pressure can often be triggered by competition;
competition with family, friend’s children, school friends or even the children
of complete strangers. This obsession with looking ‘perfect’ in front of others
is at the detriment of the child’s confidence. 
Children learn from the way we
behave and can see when mom is trying extra hard to impress. Despite what we
say, they see the way we behave and act first.
But of course, no one can be perfect. Not mom and not her
child. That child’s inability to live up to expectations, will cause her a
long-term sense of failure, a lowered self-esteem, which may in turn result in
resentment and anger
towards her mom.
Perfectionism can block communication between a mother and
her child. The child knows that she has to fine, so she pretends to be ok, even
when there are problems. She knows that admitting any problem will affect her
mom negatively, so she stays quiet.
Parenting as a pefectionist
Perfectionists spend so much time worrying; time that could
be time spent playing with their children, getting to know them and teaching
them life-long lessons.
These moms will often focus on that child’s ‘status’ or ‘achievements’
and no longer put emphasis on values like kindness, honesty, diligence. Surely
it is more important as parents to equip our children with good character than
with good grades.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
The most beloved of
Allah’s servants to Allah are those with the best manners.”
Perfectionists have an increased risk of clinical depression,
eating disorders, suicide, and are more resistant to treatment as they don’t
want look as though they’ve failed.

So to all my fellow perfectionist parents out there….

  • Remove the worry from your heart and find the love.
  • Connect with your children
  • Feel happiness to be with them
  • Be grateful for your children
  • Don’t compare yourself to others
  • Have fun with them and relax
  • Let your children be who they are
  • Let go of expectations
  • Relinquish the power that you feel you have and remember

Only He can change your state and only He can ‘fix’ that which you
worry about. 
Instead of filling your mind with stress and discontentment, focus
on filling your heart with gratitude and submission to the Will of the Divine.
You will never find perfection in this world. Perfection is
with God
For truly, it is in the Remembrance of God that the heart
finds Peace.
Quran (13:28)
Please remember us in your duaas.
Peace and Love.
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