Whether you realize it or not, you could be contributing to anxieties and fears in your child that lead them to be a perfectionist.Children who are perfectionists and children with compulsive tendencies often display similar characteristics. They may b
Whether you realize it or not, you could be contributing to anxieties and fears in your child that lead them to be a perfectionist.
Children who are perfectionists and children with compulsive tendencies often display similar characteristics.
They may be obsessed with being the very best.
They may feel that if they don’t succeed at everything, they are not good enough.
Those with compulsive behaviors may repeat actions or work to perfect routines over and over.
If you notice your child is exhibiting these traits, make sure that you aren’t contributing to the problem.
Be aware of your own example
Often times, children who become perfectionists or exhibit compulsive behaviors have a parent with the same attributes.
Do you have superstitions or rituals that you perform every day?
Are you so focused on details and being the best that your child thinks they must match your attitude and goals?
Goals and routines are not bad. When they become an all-inclusive lifestyle, they can impact your child in a negative way. Watching a parent complete a specific routine, a younger child might feel like that's the only way the event or activity can happen. It is important to be aware of these routines and how they are impacting your child.
Do not have strict rules or expectations
Household rules and expectations can become overwhelming to a child. While it is important to have rules, chores and even consequences, the key is in determining appropriate levels for your child.
Instead of focusing on what wasn’t accomplished, it is important to focus on what was done and how much your child is learning in the process.
If you are continually insisting that a particular chore must be done in a specific way, your child may become compulsive. They will want to make sure that chore is only done that way over and over again to reach perfection.
Don't reward winning or perfection as the ultimate goal
If you are focusing too much on specific grades or specific activities, you might be inhibiting your child. A child who hears how important it is to get an A, will feel like a failure even with an A-. Instead of focusing on the grade itself, it is important to focus on the child's effort. A child who is told to study and do their best is less likely to feel failure than a child who is repeatedly encouraged to get the A.
The same can be said of sports, activities, and other extracurricular events. If you are routinely focused on winning or achieving the highest rank, your child will become overly concerned about that as well. They will only feel they have value when they are at the top.
Look at yourself and your influence on your child. You can quickly identify the things you are doing that contribute to your child’s perfectionism. You can work to change your behavior and attitudes and then help to change the behavior and attitudes of your child.
A. Lynn Scoresby, founder and president of My Family Track , First Answers , and Achievement Synchrony , and has been a marriage and family psychologist for more than 35 years. He has published more than 20 books and training programs.