Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Monday, March 8, 2010

Challenge vs. Irritation

As I've written about before, Taliesin and Nathanael are both in dance class. They both love it! I have been having some concerns recently, though. This last week, Taliesin's teacher told the parents of children in the class that the kids need to work on their timing for their recital routines. Fair enough. However, when she added that all of the other classes of this age group have it down and she's a perfectionist; I have to question that. I see no problems with challenging the children (ages five, six, and early seven) to work on their routines and be the best that they can be. I do see a problem with making children this age feel not good enough.

Maybe it has nothing to do with dance, but I have noticed that Taliesin has been becoming extremely frustrated the past few weeks. He does practice his dance a lot, which I'm glad that he enjoys doing that. But he is getting increasingly frustrated with things that he usually enjoys. For instance, today he was making an art project. He became angry and frustrated because he could not get it to look the way he wanted it to. This has never been an issue for Taliesin. He usually works and allows the project to direct itself. I do not want him to become a perfectionist. I want him to enjoy what he does.

So I guess that is the questions for this post are: There is a fine line between challenging our children to be their best and causing irritation at expecting perfection. How do we know when we have crossed that line? What do you think? Am I being too picky? Is it just the unschooler in me that is too relaxed by others' standards?



Deb(bie Debbie Doo) said...

perfection is a lie! and to put that burden on such tiny little people who are still figuring this world out at a very basic level is, to me, really mean and damaging.

but, then again, that is just my opinion and we do know i have issues w/ judgments :)

Deb(bie Debbie Doo) said...

another thought, have you tried talking w/ Taliesin about his increasing frustration?

considering how 'old soul' he seems to be you might get some great insight straight from the source :)