The Ideal Child Part 1

I love the concept of parents wanting to raise “the ideal child.” The point that James Lehman is bringing out when he talks about that is that parents plan on having kids that will act a certain way and then they parent the kids based ion those assumptions regardless of how the kids really do behave.

Of course, that is a recipe for problems if there ever was one.

I want to expand the discussion and make the observation that this phenomenon is not restricted to hopeful parents. Isn’t the same situation as when people who are single imagine life with an ideal spouse? What happens when they get in a relationship and things don’t turn out the way they expected? They often keep forging right ahead acting as if reality meets their expectations instead of dealing with the reality at hand.

The same concept applies in other areas of life as well. Think how often you accept a new job with high hopes and the ridiculous idea that it is going to be an ideal working situation. Often, once people are stuck in a less than ideal employment situation, they don’t know how to correct the situation because they can’t shake their image of a job being perfect. They forge ahead telling themselves that everything is fine, when in fact, they are getting more and more frustrated every day. Some people take the opposite stance when they realize they are stuck in a less than ideal job that they now hate. They spend every minute telling anyone who will listen how miserable they are and pointing out all the reasons why the job does not meet their expectations and what they were promised. Of course, sometimes they really were promised other things and sometimes those ideal expectations were all in their heads.

I just wanted to bring up those other examples to help parents understand the concept because it might be easier to see it in action in one of those other areas than to admit that it applies to one’s parenting skills.

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