Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How do you teach perfection

Something occured to me the other day that I thought I would share. I spend a lot of my time trying to teach Emma about her diabetes and show her all the various aspects and minute little intricacies that come with managing this disease. It's a lot. I haven't dumped it all on her at once, like it was dumped on me all at once the day she was diagnosed. Over the past 4 1/2 years, I have taught her and shared things with her a little bit at a time. I've kept it age appropriate...which isn't always easy...because she is mature...and she is smart...and she is very perceptive. I've tried though to keep things in perspective for her and focus on one thing at a time until it seems like she was understanding. The thing that occured to me though is that I think I am stuck in this way of thinking that I am trying to prepare her so well and educate her so well......that she will never make a mistake.
I think that's one of my biggest fears in life.....that when she is grown (if there's not a cure yet), that she will make a fatal mistake...and I would never be able to live with myself. I would feel like a failure. I would feel like it was my lack of preparing her that caused it and that in turn it would be entirely my fault...and how would I ever be able to just keep going after that. I think I have it stuck in my head that if I just do it enough times and if I just explain it to her enough times and if I just show her and talk to her and repeat it repeat it repeat it.....that she will get it....and she will never make a mistake. I feel like I have it stuck in my head that if I just do this....then she will be a perfect pancreas. It occured to me the other day that I am completely 100% wrong in thinking that way.
There is no possible way that she could be perfect. There is nothing more perfect than a fully functioning healthy pancreas. There are pretty good replacements and pretty good stand ins for one....but nothing beats the real deal. I need to somehow come to terms with the fact that I can't prepare her enough...I can't repeat it enough...I can't prevent her mistakes. I can't make her into a perfect pancreas. I can't because she ISN'T one....she's not a pancreas anymore than I am a pancreas. She's human...and humans make mistakes. You do, I do, we all do.....there is no perfect human being on this planet. I need to somehow come to terms with that. I need to get it straight in my head that Emma WILL make mistakes. She WILL make them.....and that's ok....in fact that's a good thing. How the heck did I learn all that I have learned about diabetes?........most of the time it was from trial and error....from making mistakes. That is how we learn...that is how I learned...and that is how SHE will learn. I need to let her make mistakes and just do my best to make sure that the mistakes she will make are not so huge that they will harm her permanently. I need to focus on the big picture and just do my best to make sure that the mistakes she will inevitably make will be minor ones.
Mistakes are good. Mistakes shouldn't be thought of as bad things. I should not expect myself to be able to teach perfection...when I myself am not perfect. It's just not possible.
I'm learning...I'm trying to wrap my head around this concept...I'll get there.


  1. it is so hard to let our kids make the mistakes they need to make to make the lesson they need to learn really stick. so hard!!

  2. Relax! You've done a great job. Your kid is probably smarter and more self-aware than most adults. On the positive side you have a few more years until you really have to let her be independent and screw up on her own. Ugh, I'm having to let my boys grow up and it's no fun.