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How to let go of the perfection infection so your children can fly

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If you’re like most parents, you began dreaming about your child’s life from the moment you found out you were going to be a parent—and maybe even before. Perhaps you imagined her reading by age three, starring on her high school basketball team or maybe even playing concert piano at Carnegie Hall—at the age of eight. But then she was born and things didn't go exactly as planned.

"Every parent has secret hopes and dreams for his or her child. Sometimes we are aware of those dreams and sometimes they are buried deep inside, rising to the surface only when the bubble of expectation is burst into a million pieces. The sooner we become aware of our expectations and align them with reality the better it is for us and our children.", Jill Savage.

Savage, founder and CEO of Hearts and Home, and her husband, Mark, have raised five children. Koch, a well-known speaker and author with a Ph.D. in reading and educational psychology, is founder and president of
the nonprofit organization Celebrate Kids. Both women have seen the effects, on parents and kids, of what they term the “Perfection Infection.”

“We are inundated with perfection living these days. From Facebook to Pinterest to airbrushed magazine pictures, we see examples of “perfect” living and we instinctively compare. Before we even realize it, this infection starts to worm its way into our parenting expectations and not only hurts our relationship with our children but can also affect how they see the world and themselves.” Dr. Kathy Koch

In No More Perfect Kids, Savage and Koch take an in-depth look at the Perfection Infection, explore why it’s so dangerous, and share four antidotes to help eradicate it from our lives. Building on that foundation, they then explore seven core identity questions kids silently ask themselves and explain how parents can apply the antidotes to answer those questions in a way that gives their child freedom to fly. These questions include:

  1. Do You Like Me? We have to nurture the children we were given and not the children we wish we had.
  2. Am I Important to You? Many positive and negative behaviors have their roots in whether our children feel important and valued.
  3. Is it Okay I’m Unique? We all have specific traits, talents, learning styles, and temperaments that God longs to use for His purposes.
  4. Who am I? The more they hear you call out their unique, defining, positive traits, the more they will begin to define themselves positively too!
  5. Am I a Failure? Our children are in process, and the more often we remind ourselves of this, the more grace and love we’ll have for them along the way.
  6. What’s My Purpose? Understanding why we’re in the world and what impact we can make gives us inherent value both as members of society and members of God’s family.
  7. Will You Help Me Change? Loving them for who they are means we don’t expect more than they’re capable of. It does mean, however, we don’t expect less and we don’t expect them to be what they cannot be.

“When you and I can let go of “being perfect” and really embrace the process of “being perfected” by God, we’ll experience the contentment and freedom we intrinsically long for and we’ll give our children the freedom to be themselves.” says Savage.

Available March 1
No More Perfect Kids
by Jill Savage and Kathy Koch
Read an excerpt from the book here.

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