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Perfectionism or Realistic Aspirations – What Should You Be Teaching to Your Kids?

Let us begin this write-up with a pertinent question – How do you judge yourself when you make a mistake? Do you see yourself as imperfect owing to your mistakes or find yourself on a learning journey heading towards success?

If you perceive you’re a failure or imperfect when you make mistakes, you’re a perfectionist. On the other hand, if you reckon that mistakes are inevitable and it is only the way we react to our blunders, either positively or negatively, which makes all the difference, you’re a realist.

However, here we, The Navyandhra School, ranked among the top 10 schools in Gurgaon, would like to remind all the parents reading this write-up that the way you, the parents, react to your mistakes has a rippling effect on your children! This is irrespective of whether you encourage them to be like you consciously or if it happens unconsciously. Yes, the fact is that they will observe you and learn from you! Hence, it is very important that you act responsibly around your children so that they can learn values from you.

Understand that as a parent, you hold the responsibility to guide your children on how to correct their mistakes, not teach them to link their mistakes with their self-worth. At The Navyandhra School, we firmly believe that it is rather important to teach the kids to embrace their mistakes and lay efforts towards not just correcting them but also learning from them.

Simply, by making your child accept that he/she cannot always be perfect in anything and everything they do can actually help lift a heavy weight off their shoulders. It is important that you teach them that their mistakes arm them with the knowledge about how not to go about doing things. In the process, they are guided towards how to do things the correct way.

Bring some realism into your child’s life by telling them that mistakes are not bad as far as they learn to improve from them. Teach your children how to own up to their mistakes and how they can do things differently for better results.

Let us now move on to studying in detail the concepts of “perfectionism” and “realism” and what you should emphasize when it comes to teaching your kids the right way of life.


For perfectionists, striving for flawlessness and setting unfeasible standards remains the mainstay. They remain extremely concerned about how others perceive them and generally never seem satisfied with their performance.

Though striving for perfection doesn’t superficially look like a bad thing, such an attitude may turn into a problem when perfectionists begin considering mistakes to be their personal failures or deficits. They do not view mistakes to be part of the normal course of life. Whenever they perform below their expectations, they become too self-critical of themselves, and this has a damaging effect on their self-esteem. They equate their self-worth with their productivity levels and achievements. This is something which is definitely not right!

Thus, we, at The Navyandhra School, would like to advise our respectable parent fraternity to refrain from imposing pressure on your kids to grow into perfectionists and attain lofty, unrealistic goals. If you do so, your kids will gradually start to berate, abuse, and criticize themselves. More so, they will start believing that something is wrong with them. This will only will leave them feeling disappointed and frustrated in the end.


Realists are those who believe in making mistakes and learning from them. They believe that mistakes do not decide the end result of our efforts, but instead, it is our own perception of the mistakes that turns out to be the deciding factor.

Realists are pragmatic. They believe in expressing things the way they actually are. They are more embracing towards life and are mentally strong enough to accept challenges and cope with them well.

In other words, realism is perfecting the art of recognizing the beauty of everything real. Realists consider mistakes to be real and hold the opinion that the choice lies with us to either make the best of the given situation or be dragged down by our failings.

Perfection or Realism – What is the correct approach?

There’s a general perception that perfectionism refers to making no errors. While perfectionism isn’t a bad notion, provided that the people striving for it remain hooked to the ground-level reality, it can turn into a problem when people begin chasing perfectionism without trying to understand its true meaning.

It grows into an even bigger problem when parents adopt a similar kind of approach and pressurize their children to be ‘perfect’ in every sense of the term. This is when they begin to view mistakes as a sign of weakness. In the process, children start living in a make-believe world where they refuse to believe that they can ever make mistakes.

At The Navyandhra School, one of the top 10 schools in Gurgaon, we believe that a better approach is to encourage the children to own up to their mistakes. Bring them to the ground of reality and teach them that as humans, it is only normal to make mistakes. Hence, instead of doubting their self-worth based on their mistakes, a healthier attitude is to make all efforts to correct the blunders and try to avoid them as much as possible.

Propel your children to become responsible citizens by teaching them that mistakes are reminders of what they must not do. In fact, by learning from their mistakes and staying hooked to reality, they would be driven to do things the way they’re meant to be done.

By imbibing a realistic standpoint about different situations in your child, you can empower them to realize their goals. This would help them make peace with the fact that they cannot change the past, yet they have the opportunity of redeeming themselves in the future.

Thus, the best approach that you, as parents, can teach to your kids is to keep striving for perfection in all aspects of life while still being realists. Once they get to understand this, they will head on to the path of leading a happy and successful life.

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