What Can We Do to Help Children Who Seem to be Perfectionists?
Perfectionism is being afraid of showing up as yourself. Perfectionists tend to be avoiders, risk-averse, easily overwhelmed, and they don't like to be "in progress."
What can we do to help children who seem to be perfectionists?
- Talk about how we make mistakes ourselves and model that.
- "Ugh I just added too much flour to this recipe."
- "Oops I forgot to complete something."
- Model self-kindness.
- "That didn't turn out like I had planned but I'm going to be ok."
- "Let me try that again."
- "I can't do that yet but I can learn."
- Validate their feelings.
- "You seem frustrated."
- "I see you erasing your work. Is something difficult? What else can we do."
- Remind them that the goal is not perfection. It is progress and learning.
- Allow something to be messy—art projects, baking, a work paper, or a room in your home.
- Put emphasis on the hard work, not the end product.
- "I am so proud of you for working hard."
- "You should be proud of yourself."
- Encourage problem-solving.
- "You can look for that on your own for 5 minutes then ask me again to help if you still need me."
- "What can you do first before I come help you with that?"