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The Problem with Perfectionism

So your daughter has decided she wants to do something, it could be anything like drawing a picture. But the picture doesn’t quite look like how it does in her mind. The frustration kicks in or they may have a total meltdown. How many of us have been in this scenario?

The quest for perfectionism means that whatever you do is never good enough because as we know perfection is an unattainable standard.

So how do we deal with a child who is a perfectionist?

I find this particularly tricky to navigate with my girls as I often go straight in with trying to make them feel better. I try to cheerlead and rationalise. Except at this moment they are completely irrational so my attempts always fall flat.

So I’ve started trying some different approaches and I’ve listed three of them below in case they could help you too.

  1. Don’t try and immediately rationalise as they can’t hear you right now. Wait until they’re a bit calmer and you’ll get through to them better.

  2. Empathise and acknowledge their feelings. Sometimes they just want to get their frustration out without being told that they shouldn’t be frustrated.

  3. Ask if they’d like to carry on or take a break. Sometimes giving them the choice of stopping gives them a bit of relief. Let them know that it’s ok to take a break – taking a break is not giving up.

Let me know if any of these strategies work for you – we are in this together!

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