Perfectionism is the belief that an ideal state of flawlessness could and can be attained. If you work hard the painting will be complete and perfect. Your essay will contain the best words and phrases. Your clay figure will resemble your inner picture. Some children work on the same painting for weeks without every finishing it. A line is draw and then the rubber is used. A new line is draw only to be rubbed out. The drawing may never be finished and despite skills and motivation to learn to draw, the image and the idea of a perfect drawing prevents the child from ever finishing it.
As parents or teachers, it is important to stop a child from striving towards a perfect ideal. Things can be improved upon, but they also need to be finished. Being a slave of success makes a child focused on failure. It makes a child doubt herself. Being a success slave is restricting a child and many children are made into perfectionist. Pressure on children to achieve at an early age is one possible explanation. Perfectionism prevents a child from embracing challenges and it reduces playfulness.
By always focusing on your own performance and measuring it against the ideal, you have get problems with learning a task. Ultimately, perfectionism reduces innovation and creativity. And perhaps more importantly it makes a child feel and act like a failure. Links between perfectionism and anxiety and depression has been found. Being obsessively concerned with mistakes prevents a child from being and feeling successful.
Successful people may strive toward improving their creations but they seem to be happy to explore new ideas. For them trying again is not seen as a failure. A perfectionist is afraid that others will see them as failures and think less of them. While children who try and challenges themselves, enjoy the satisfaction of finishing something and using it as a stepping-stone for the next project.
Teach your child to finish things and then encourage them to start a new project using the last experience as a stepping-stone. Presuccess is what comes before success and seeing and describing failures and mistakes as something that comes before success paves the way for success. The idea of writing the perfect story could be changed to writing a good chapter and then seeing the project as finished. History is filled with presuccesses and Columbus discovered America while looking for India, who knows what a child can discover if the ideal of something perfect is not installed in her mind.
Give your child a marker and tell her to draw instead of using a pencil. Tell pupils to finish their drawings the same lesson, instead of allowing them to work on it for several lessons. Mix things up and tell children to practise their writing skills by asking them to write about something they know nothing about, just to brave enough to finish something regardless of how imperfect it is.
There is great enjoyment in having finished something. Teach your child to feel proud of having tried and finished something. The only failure is not trying. Never daring to have a new idea and putting it forward just in case someone may find something that is not perfect with it, is stopping a child from growing.
Photo: Girl With Fun by Koratmember