By Ashley Anjlien Kumar, The Confidence Coach
Does your child get down on herself? Is she hard on herself? A ‘perfectionist’ child?
Some parents have reached out to me to ask what they can do to help their child who they believe has perfectionist tendencies. As someone who grew up with a mother with perfectionist tendencies, I picked up those qualities too in many ways. It isn’t easy going into the adult world expecting and wanting things to be perfect from the start, and then realizing there will be many roadblocks, ‘plan B’s’ – which a perfectionist mostly hates, and even failures. — What? Failure? Aarrgh (running in the opposite direction…Right?)
I’ve been working on those tendencies since I was 19 years old and have worked to diminish the effects of these habits on my life. There are adults in their 60’s now trying to unravel their perfectionist habits so they can learn to enjoy life more. This is isn’t easy as we get older, so the sooner we start with young kids, the better off they will be in the long run.
There isn’t one single answer that will ‘fit’ each child because each child is unique. But here are some ways to help your child that will benefit her regardless, and will help to increase the connection in your relationship.
First, what are some signs of a perfectionist child?
- Gives up easily after only 1 or 2 attempts of something,
- Unable to overcome mistakes,
- Has difficulty managing change,
- Self-critical, self-conscious, or easily embarrassed,
- Sensitive to criticism even if it’s constructive,
- Anxiety about making mistakes,
- Procrastinates or avoids challenging tasks,
- Tendency to stay in comfort zone,
- Emotionally and socially inhibited,
- Critical of others,
- Difficulty decision making…
These are just a few.
So what can you do?