Perfectionism in Children Symptoms & Signs

By TheParentZ Counsellor|2 - 3 mins read| March 24, 2023

While setting high standards for our children can challenge their limits but pushing the envelope can propel him towards unhealthy perfectionism. In this article, I will discuss perfectionism in Children and what child perfectionism symptoms and how you can help your child overcome perfectionism.

Nihar could pass-off as just another five-year-old who is ever so curious about the world around him. But for those who know him closely, there is something about him that strikes out. Nihar loves to draw and while he is at his task, he often ends up crumpling or ripping apart his drawing sheet especially when he is not happy with his work. He keeps looking up at his parents who are self-proclaimed perfectionists themselves. Watching the creases on his mother’s brow, Nihar experiences discomfort and tosses aside another sheet and starts all over again. He sometimes grows impatient and angry giving up completely eventually. Even little signs of approval from his parents in the form of a nod or a smile lift his spirits up.

Unfortunately, we are a society that correlates a good academic performance (read acquiring good scores) and extracurricular achievements to success. For most parents, having their children glued to the chair while making them toil for their homework assignments and tests can be quite a Herculean task. Parents secretly wish kids to be self-motivated, sincere, hard-working and excel in every area of their life be it academics or extra-curricular activities.

Kids who are brought up by being fed high doses of perfectionism often end up having a skewed definition about what success truly means. Like Deepak Chopra writes in his book, ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,’ “The journey is more important than the destination.” If parents help their children understand this basic philosophy it will help children for a lifetime to find joy in little things.

Signs Symptoms of Perfectionism in Children

What are the characteristics of a perfectionist? This is what Perfectionism Looks Like in Children

  1. Gets frustrated and gives up easily
  2. Gets anxious at the drop of a hat and is upset about making a mistake.
  3. Procrastinates tasks and has difficulty completing tasks at hand.
  4. Fears being looked down upon or facing embarrassment in public.
  5. Low-risk taker and fears trying out new things lest he fails at them.
  6. Do not have many friends and find it difficult to make new friends.
  7. Often complain of feeling isolated
  8. They blame and beat themselves up when things don’t go the way they planned?

Children apart from achieving the various milestones of physical developmental must also conquer some emotional milestones, a major pedestal being the ability to handle failure.  in Our next article we will discuss on managing perfectionism in Children – Tips for Parents.

TheParentZ provides Parenting Tips & Advice to parents.

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TheParentZ Counsellor

Last Updated: Fri Mar 24 2023

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