When you get together with your friends, have you noticed that most parents have kids who have experienced some sort of challenge or struggle?

Imperfection is a quality to embrace. 
The goal isn’t shooting for perfection in your child or in yourself. My mom pal, Julie Sanders, captures this thought by saying, “Perfection is not the standard of success.”  
 What a FREEING concept!
I wrote a guest blog post for Jill Savage of Hearts at Home. In the article, I mentioned how the spills or accidents in life are an opportunity. They are moments where parents can model grace and humility. Our kids watch and learn how we respond to the times they fall short in behavior or attitude.
So what is success, if the standard isn’t performing with perfection, completing a project perfectly, or meeting a goal?
Maybe success is the ability to deal with and learn from failure.
Here are the top ten ways (plus one more) imperfection helps kids…and parents… thrive during times of strife or failure:
1.      Perspective is changed. Imperfection points out it is not the end of the world when something doesn’t turn out as planned.
2.      Priorities are ordered. Imperfection increases the awareness we can’t do it all. We all must pick and choose what is important and to put the focus and emphasis on those items.
3.      Permission is given to seek assistance.  Imperfection teaches our kids that asking for and accepting help is a good thing.
4.      Personality traits such as compassion and empathy are developed. Imperfection in ourselves increases our understanding of another’s short comings.
5.      Peacefulness is the best response to a hardship. Imperfection gives children the opportunity to choose peace over anger.
6.      Positions individuals to be a perpetual learner.  Every day of our lives, we can learn something new.
7.      Patience is developed. Imperfection is the best way to build the tenacity muscle.
8.      Polishes the ability to give grace to another. Imperfection enables kids to extend grace to another when he or she is less than perfect.
9.      Proficient in the practice of forgiveness. Imperfection allows children become practiced in the action of forgiving themselves when they mess up.
10.  Promotes a sense of humor. Imperfect teaches us not to take ourselves too seriously.
And one more…Prayer life is increased. Imperfection draws people closer to the Lord. It’s a reminder that there is only ONE who is perfect and He desires to be invited on the journey.
Perfectionism stirs the pot of pride. It produces a critical and judgmental spirit. It can be barrier to healthy relationships.
So…knowing being perfect isn’t the goal, we instead teach our kids to do their best, ask for help when needed, offer assistance to others, and then when the mistakes inevitably seep into the fray to show grace, peace, and forgiveness.
He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1: 6

© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.

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