No More Perfect Kids Book Study: Chapter 1

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I'm very excited to begin sharing some of the things I'm learning from No More Perfect Kids by Jill Savage and Kathy Koch. A full review of the book will be coming soon on my Leah's Good Reads blog, but for the next few weeks, I'm going to take a look at each chapter. You can preorder
No More Perfect Kids which will be released on March 1st. I gave an overview of the book in this post.

From the very beginning, in even the introduction, the book was thought-provoking. Jill and Kathy challenge us to look at the difference between the child we imagined and the child we have.

When I first found out I was pregnant- especially with my first child- I immediately had thoughts and ideas about how things would be. She would look like this. She would act like that. She would like these things and not those things. I knew exactly what parenting strategies we were going to use and how those were going to work to make her behave a certain way. Before I gave birth, I was the smartest parent ever. As soon as she was born, our ability as parents immediately declined.

Jill points out that trouble starts in our relationship with our kids when we begin to compare our imagined child with the child we actually got. Sometimes the difference between the two is huge. Some parents have children who are born with disabilities- physical or mental. These parents find a huge gulf between the child they imagined and the child they actually have. But even those of us who have children without a severe disability find ourselves comparing the child we have with the child we imagined.

Jill also encourages us to look at the process of growth in our children- not just the perfection that we are looking for. She encourages us to set realistic expectations for our children. And to do that we need to know our kids, really know them.

Knowing my children well has been one of the biggest blessings of homeschooling for me. I am with my children all the time. I spend most of my days with them. And because I do, I have the privilege of knowing them well. I know their interests. I know their strengths. I know their weaknesses. I know what they are doing (and what they aren't). And knowing my children helps me to set realistic expectations for them. What I can expect one to do is not the same as what I will expect from another. Because I know them, my expectations can fit the child.

One of the most convicting parts of this chapter was the discussion of the "greener grass syndrome." This is what happens when we always think "I could be so much happier if..." This is something that I find myself saying/doing all the time. It's not intentional. If you ask me, I would consider myself a content person. But I have the habit of making these statements. "We could have people over more often if we had a bigger house." "I would exercise more often if I didn't have fibromyalgia." "If I could cook better, we would eat more healthy meals." My children hear these statements. And they pick up on the discontent. And Jill points out that when children pick up on this, they will often become discontent with themselves and who God created them to be.

I'm learning some great things. And this is only the first chapter. I'll be back on Wednesday to tell you the things I'm learning from chapter two, and I will link to my review of the whole book. If you have thoughts or questions, I'd love to hear them.





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