Perfectionism can be quite demanding. It can cause a child to crumple paper and throw it angrily across the room because something wasn’t just right. It can provoke a child to slam down a pencil and break the lead because one problem was missed. It can keep a child to from trying unless the child is assured of success. I know these things all too well.
I’ve found that there are some things I can do to help my children navigate life when perfectionism comes knocking.
1. When I make mistakes, I often let my kids know what I did.
Because I do make mistakes – lots of them!
2. Apologize to my children when I make a mistake with them.
Because I do make mistakes with my kids
3. Be okay with big messes that my children make.
Yes, this happens often. My kids just have to clean up after themselves when they are done.
4. Be okay when my children’s school work or art work is good enough.
I have my kids fix errors in their school work, but not every error or every time.
5. Let my children know it is okay to make mistakes.
Because it is. I tell them that I expect them to make mistakes.
6. Hide Mr. Perfect
This post talks about how we hid Mr. Perfect. It was a fun and effective way to deal with the issue for a younger child.
7. Help my children understand the Gospel.
This is probably the most effective thing we have done. They come to understand and accept that no person is perfect and that only God is perfect.
How have you helped your child navigate perfectionism? Please share in the comments.