Perfect Children Are Sad Children

Perfect children are sad children

Perfect children don’t always know how to smile, and they don’t feel the sound of joy. They fear making mistakes or never meeting the high expectations of their parents. Their education is not based on freedom or recognition, but on the authority of a strict and demanding voice.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), adolescent depression is a very serious problem today. Excessive demands on parents easily lead to lack of self-esteem, anxiety, and extremely negative emotional states.

We should always remember that demands during childhood leave an irreversible mark on the adult brain. We never see ourselves as qualified enough, and we are never perfect enough according to the ideals that were programmed into us. Therefore, we must break this limiting bond that stifles our ability to be happy.

girl and bunny

Perfect children: when the culture of effort is taken to extremes

It is often said that education is not rigorous enough, that teachers and parents are too permissive, and that students have a low tolerance for frustration. However, this is not entirely true. In general, especially in times of crisis, parents seek “excellence” for their children.

If a child gets eight in math, they are pressured to get 10+. Their afternoons will be filled with extra lessons, and their free time will be limited to finding new competitions. This causes stress, exhaustion and helplessness.

The Price of Privilege is  an interesting book written by Madeleine Levinen. In it, he explains how our need to raise perfect children ready for the future really only leads to children growing apart from happiness.

Teaching is the ability to exercise authority with love, guiding their steps safely and caring, for childhood is a reserve fund for a lifetime.

little girl and mirror

Consequences of children being demanded too much

We should all keep something in mind. We can educate our children in the culture of effort. We can and should demand certain things from them. There is no doubt about this, but everything has its limits. This limit is to combine our demands with the padding of selfless love and acceptance.

Otherwise, perfect children are sad children who experience the following types of emotions:

  • Addiction and Passivity : A child who is accustomed to being told what they should do will no longer make decisions for themselves. Thus, they always seek external acceptance and lose their spontaneity and personal freedom.
  • Lack of emotion : Perfect children suppress their emotions to adjust to “what needs to be done”. And all this repression of emotions has serious short- and long-term consequences.
  • Low self-esteem : A child or teenager accustomed to external demands has no autonomy or decision-making ability.
  • Frustration, feelings of resentment, and internal discomfort can lead to moments of aggression.
  • Anxiety is one of the characteristics of children whose education is based on requirements. Any change or new situation will lead to personal insecurity and deep anxiety.
little boy and teddy bear

Demanding parents versus understanding parents

The need to raise “perfect children” is a subtle but direct way to give the world unhappy children. The pressure from these demands will always follow them. This is even more likely to happen if we base their education on a lack of positive support and demonstration of caring.

Clearly, as mothers and fathers, we hope our children will succeed. But most of all, we hope they are happy. No one wants their children to be depressed in their youth or to be too demanding of themselves. We want them to be free to live in the flow of life, to smile and allow mistakes to themselves.


At this point, we are able to distinguish between these two styles of education and upbringing: upbringing based on strict requirements and upbringing based on understanding and emotional connection with our children.

  • Demanding and critical parents are often insecure individuals whose personalities require control of every detail.
  • Understanding parents “push” their children toward goals, giving them the freedom to explore, feel, and find out on their own. They act as guides and do not try to make their children puppet dolls.
  • A demanding parent is authoritative and his lifestyle is always determined by the clock. They set the rules and make decisions to save time on the grounds: “because I know what’s best for you” or “because I’m your mom / dad”.

In summary, education means showing authority, but with common sense. It means showing caring as an antidote and communicating as a strategy.

mother and son

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