Are you a Perfectionist Parent?

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We had the very good fortune of having the time to attend the New Mexico Military Institute’s 118th Celebration of Diversity on May 11, 2012 in the recently renovated Pearson Auditorium.  This is the NMMI graduation event that precedes the Baccalaureate/Commencement which this year had Governor Susana Martinez as guest speaker.  NMMI located in Roswell, New Mexico is , embarrassingly , sometimes overshadowed by all the UFO lore that permeates this region in southeastern NM.

You may wonder why this writer would categorize this as a moment of impact. The speaker at the NMMI Celebration of Diversity was a preacher named  Captain Ramon “Beau” Perez of the Salvation Army and a graduate of the USMA(West Point) in 1982 I believe. One of the more striking features of this gentleman’s speech was the manner in which he called out parents whose perfectionist tendencies might have the effect of stressing out their children. In an age where many speakers are afraid of offending even a single member of the gathering, I was moved by Captain Perez’s willingness to say something that needed to be said whether it hurt feelings or not. Many parents pressure their progeny with the “nothing is good enough” style of parenting.

He spoke of parents who were never quite satisfied with their child’s performance and not just necessarily their academic achievements. Parents who always compare their children’s accomplishments with , say , their neighbor’s  kids are not conveying a message of unconditional love to their offspring! Captain Perez even provided a count of the number of times the word blessing appears in the scripture. This momentous word appears over 500 times in the Bible which is certainly a metric of its impact and importance!

If only a single parent was moved by his Sermon to rethink the way they are treating their kids by placing them in the perfection at all costs pressure cooker,  then Beau Perez has made a huge difference! Childhood depression is very easy to trigger. Take it easy on your kids.

NMMI Celebration of Diversity Pamphlet
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1 comment on “Are you a Perfectionist Parent?Add yours →

  1. Captain Perez is a tremendous promoter of the Salvation Army in Roswell, New Mexico. We have see him ministering as a form of recruiting new soldiers at Chaves County courthouse, I believe, on Friday nights. He makes sure the new recruits are sincere and that their hearts and spirits are in the right place before honoring them by allowing theme to serve the underprivileged.

    The community owes Beau boundless thanks as he helps get kids on the right track relatively early in their lives. Too bad Eddie Flores who was arrested for a home invasion could not have managed to find his way to one of those Friday ministries.

    I think Perez was also a contributor to the well known public speaking book by David Zarefsky. I may be wrong about that, but if you listen to the Salvation Army leader speak you will realize he could have either authored a public speaking book or was profoundly influenced by the pedagogy of Zarefsky

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