How to Handle a Perfectionist Child & How to Deal With Perfectionism » Parenting Tips: Dealing With a Perfectionist

How to Handle a Perfectionist Child & How to Deal With Perfectionism » Parenting Tips: Dealing With a Perfectionist

How to Handle a Perfectionist Child & How to Deal With Perfectionism » Parenting Tips: Dealing With a PerfectionistParenting a child is difficult. And parenting a child who strains to be a perfectionist is much more difficult. With so much competition nowadays, kids tend to pick up the habit of trying to push themselves to excel.

While this can be lauded as a sincere attempt on a kid’s part to stay competitive and qualified in this fast paced world, trying too hard to become a perfectionist can have undue strain on your little one which will reflect in his/her behavior as he/she grows up.

Kids who try to be perfectionists never seem to be satisifed with their performance and try to push themselves harder, even if they excel in that field. For example, a perfectionist kid never seems to be satisfied with his/her performance even if he/she secures 95% in his/her studies.

Accordingly for such children, it will not be the 95% that catches their attention but the 5% that was lost. A kid who feels unsatisfied with his/her performance will constantly ask the following questions. “What will others think about me? Is it good enough? How could I have missed out on that point?”.

A kid who tries to be a perfectionist attempts to raise his/her standard of perfection to unhealthy levels, thereby putting too much pressure on himself/herself to excel.

Most of the time, parents are to blame for this particular problem in children. Expecting their children to excel in every field and pushing them forward without realising their personal interests and goals are the main reasons why kids feel stressed out and frustated.However, some kids have an inborn tendency to overachieve and this reflects in their atttitude and the things they do.

Parents whose kids attempt to be perfectionists claim to see their children go through several physical, relational and emotional disturbances. Accordingly, some of the more common symptoms prevalent in perfectionist kids include headaches, migraines, eating disorders, anxiety and depression.

In older kids, the worst case scenario is suicide wherein all these individual issues culminate inside the head to form a huge burden that kids feel cannot be unloaded unless they die.

If you have a perfectionist kid at home who is going through these problems, here are a few ways you can help him/her out.

Examine your own expectations and ambitions. Are they contrasting with your child’s individual desires and wishes? Are you forcing your kid too much? Are you trying to make him/her do something that he/she doesnt like doing?

If you find out that you are the main reason for your kid’s perfectionist behavior, then it’s high time you let your guard down a bit and start accepting your kid for the way he/she is rather than what you want to turn him/her into.

Be honest with their efforts and coach them gently instead of putting too much pressure on them to perform better. Instead of asking them to reach for the sky, be realistic and set goals they can achieve easily. Teaching them to cope with efficient skills like time management, multi tasking etc. can give them an idea of how to oversome stress.

Let your kid enjoy life. Agreed that this would be the right time to teach them about life and what waits for them when they grow up. However, this approach can work in both directions.

While some kids may start looking forward to a wonderful future ahead, some kids tend to look at the hardships that wait for them and back off. They tend to build a protective fence around them and don’t venture out for fear of losing and being ridiculed by others.

Check your kid’s daily activities and try to set aside some free time for him/her to relax or do whatever he/she wants to do. Eliminate activities and tasks you think can be done later. Teach your kid the importance of the tasks at hand and how to effectively balance these tasks with those that can be done at a later stage.

Most kids tend to complete tasks effectively without realising the same. Hence they waste precious time retrying the same task several times. Educate your kid about time management and help him/her out by setting time limits for tasks.

Sit alongside him/her the first few times to help him/her complete the tasks within the alloted time. Once you notice him/her doing the same without your help, you can move away.

Most parents tend to enroll their kids in every kind of class, program, club and activity imaginable with the thought that their kids will become good leaders in whatever they do. However, this can have adverse affects on the kid, especially if he/she cannot handle the extra load.

Minimise or stop all activities you think your kid can do without. Make him/her attend only a few really important classes and programs that you think are completely necessary for him/her. Of course, you need to make sure that he/she likes the same as well.

Teach your kid to handle disappointments and failures the right way. Instead of saying demotivating phrases like “I can never do this right”, or “I knew I would not be able to do it”, teach him/her to say phrases like “I’ll try again next time”, or “I can do this better”.

As your kid repeats these phrases, he/she will learn that nobody can be perfect which in turn will make him/her less demotivated about losing and more focused on trying again.

Stress busters are great ways to alleviate pressure and you can teach your kids a few techniques to help him/her control her emotions. Taking slow breaths, walking, listening to music, counting to ten, going through the family album, watching a comedy show on TV etc. are good relaxation strategies and you can ask your kid to follow the same whenever he/she feels stressed out about something.

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