my full review here, and you can preorder the book on Amazon here. No More Perfect Kids: Love the Kids You Have, Not the Ones You Want But if you wait until the official launch of No More Perfect Kids in March, you can purchase it and get all kinds of extra goodies. I'll be posting about that deal when it is available.
The theme of chapter 4 is placing an appropriate value on your kids so that they feel important. There was one phrase that stood out to me over and over- "Your kids were not given to you to meet your needs."
It's easy to put them in that place though. It's easy to act as if they should meet our needs.. But when we do, we are disappointed in our children when they fail to meet those needs. That isn't good for us- to allow someone else to control whether or not we feel our needs are met- and it isn't healthy for our relationship because when kids fail to meet our needs, we put pressure on them to be who we need them to be. Only God can meet our needs.
There are questions in this chapter. Jill suggests considering each of these- including our children if they are old enough. She encourages readers to think about each one and whether or not they applied to their relationships with their children. Under each are some ways we can turn around those attitudes and prevent the "Perfection Infection." I thought these questions and the ideas were great and thought-provoking.
Is my child a project to be finished?
Does my child get the most attention from me when he or she is in trouble?
Does my child feel I only care about the things he or she does and not how he or she thinks or feels?
Does my child feel I take his or her questions seriously?
Does my child feel there are double standards in our family?
Do I allow my child to offer his or her opinions or thoughts on family activities?
Do I expect my child to do too much around the house in place of a meaningful relationship?
Does my adopted child or stepchild feel less important that my biological children?
As I read through these questions and the ways to turn them around, I noticed that so much of this revolves around an open and honest communication with your kids. We've always made it a point to talk. Thanks to friends and mentors before our marriage and in our early marriage, my husband and I have always worked on communicating. When our kids were born, it carried over easily into our relationships as parents. It's so very important that kids talk and that they are given the freedom to express without fear of retribution and with a knowing that they will be listened to.
Chapter 4 drove home for me the danger of relying on my children to meet me needs and the importance of communication in my relationships with my children.