A perfectionist parent usually says, “I never let my child know. I don’t want them to worry like me.” Do you really think that you child doesn’t see it?
Perfectionists are self-critical. Helping your child to be less critical of himself takes time. (Don’t be too hard on yourself if your efforts don’t bring quick changes).
Perfectionist children (and adults) tend to be worriers. They worry about things that could go wrong, they worry about failure, and they worry about their parents. They look at negative possibilities and turn them into likely probabilities!
YOU CAN HELP:
Let them know when you make a mistake and show that you have a positive attitude. You may want to purposely make mistakes—lose your keys, spill something, forget something. Demonstrate a “no big deal” attitude. You may enlist their help in “finding your keys.” The compliments and “You find everything! What would I do without you?” builds their self-esteem and slowly they change the picture how they see themselves.
Encourage trying! Saying, “Do your best” can be damaging to a perfectionist child! Encourage your child to try a skill without being committed to high performance. “Give it a try” may be a better choice of words.” Not everyone is good at everything. Some children are just better than others at certain things. When a child feels that he’s “doing his best” and it’s not good enough, that contributes to adding more pressure.
Emphasize effort—not the finished product! “You sure have been working hard with those Lego’s today. Tell me about what you’re making.”
When a child complains about everything that is wrong, ask “What’s good about this?”
Express positive statements when you see your child working on something for a long time. “You really put a lot of time into this. It must have been important to you.”
WATCH YOUR OWN REACTION. Do you remember the first time your child said, “I’m stupid!” or “I can’t do anything right!”? Think of your own reaction at that time. You may have overly reassured them by going on and on about how smart they are. Children see how quickly this gets attention and sometimes what looks like perfectionism is really attention seeking behavior. Then it comes more into the category of learned behavior! Listen to when your child says it. Frequently children will say things for reaction and attention only. Don’t shower them with attention to reassure them. You’d be best to not give verbal or visual attention if it seems that they are just using the “I can’t do anything right.” statement. You could change the subject or just walk away! After awhile, a child who is just “using” these words for attention tapers down and just stops. It all takes time!
HAVE FUN WITH YOUR CHILD:
Young At Art
The new museum is amazing! Imagination Activation!
At YAA, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Ride a subway, visit a cave and discover a dig in ArtScapes. STOMP to the rhythm, build sand sculptures and recycled puppets in GreenScapes. Learn about faraway customs in CultureScapes. Explore the world of Alice in WonderScapes. Create a masterpiece in every gallery!
751 SW 121st Ave. Davie, FL 33325 954-424-0085. http://youngatartmuseum.org/
KIDS HELPING KIDS: Enjoy this site by an 10 year old girl! Kids can really teach parents too!
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