"Perfect!" I complimented my six-year-old son as he completed his task. Then, I winced.
I don't remember my parents being excessively demanding; I think perfectionism is just in my personality. Unfortunately it is more of a handicap than an asset. And I don't want to pass it to my children.
I winced because at that moment I realized I'm passing my handicap to my child. By enthusiastically chirping, "Perfect!" I am conveying to him that perfect is not only attainable, but also desirable. "Perfect!" is not a compliment, it is an impossible standard to achieve.
So along with some other ugly words, I'll be deleting "perfect" from my vocabulary.
Are there ways you inadvertently pass along unrealistic expectations to clients, friends or family?