Perfectionism is the desire to be perfect. It is about setting high standards of yourself and when you don’t meet those standards feeling disappointed and possibly useless, a failure etc. These high standards are generally unrealistic but still we will put ourselves under unnecessary pressure to succeed and be the best. Being a perfectionist has, in my eyes, one benefit and that is it makes us care about what we are doing and to try hard.
I have seen many children who are perfectionists. They may want to be perfect in one area of their life or all of them. I have seen some children who have to do well academically but are quite happy to have a messy bedroom or complicated friendships. Whichever area it is they can feel anxious, stressed and tired emotionally because of the time they are putting in.
You will know if your child is striving too hard if they use words like, ‘I must’ or ‘I have to’. If they are, challenge their thoughts as to why they are thinking in that way. Say to them, ‘Why do you say you have to get 10 out of ten in your spellings?’ ‘What does it mean to you if you don’t?’
How do you deal with perfectionism in your house?