“I don’t expect perfection from the boys. I want them to be okay with not being perfect.”


Tom Brechlin explains how perfection and the false appearance of it can reward all the wrong things through his experiences at a residential facility for adolescent males.

This is a comment by on the post “Why Perfection Is the Lowest Standard You Can Set for Yourself“.

Tom Brechlin said:

The kids that I work with (residential facility for adolescent males) have what we call a “point system” where they are given up to 5 point for each block of activity including groups, school classes, meals, room time, transition time, etc. Points are based on behaviors, involvement, attentiveness and so on. It drives me crazy when a client will come to me and proudly state that he made 100% for the day. Heck, I couldn’t get 100% yet it’s been an ongoing battle with some staff that they not realistically give these guys points.

I know my case load and I know what they’re c capable of and none of them, in the past 15 years are capable of getting 100% of his points. What happens is that it sets the kid up as well as the counselor. I don’t expect perfection. I expect them to be okay with not being perfect. We’re not doing them any favors (even though the staff that hand the points out are doing so out of kindness)because it’s simply not realistic.

3 months in treatment means they have a short period of time to deal with a boat load of issues and behaviors. Ya can’t change negative behaviors unless they recognize the behaviors. It’s all about growth. 

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Photo credit: Flickr / egarc2


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