The risks of perfectionism in the development of children

When anyone goes to work, the goal is clear: to get your goal achieved in the best possible way. At this point a question arises, is it enough to do things well, should we always try to give a plus? Where is the difference between a good lab and a improvement excessive?

Too much demand has consequences for children and their development. This is indicated by the World Association of Early Childhood Educators, AMEI-WAECE, who warn of the effects that the perfectionism can have on children the set of ideas that the little ones have about what they should be and to conquer an ideal that becomes unattainable. Find the middle ground between self-demand and too much workload.


The good demand

Perfectionism can help the little ones achieve their goals and not settle. Wanting to grow and improve the situation in which one finds oneself, is a value to be taken into account and that has great Benefits in the smallest. AMEI-WAECE recommends self-demanding as long as:

- Set appropriate goals and within the reach of children.

- The necessary consistency is maintained to achieve these goals.

- Work habits necessary to achieve the goals have been inculcated.

- There is a real motivation to improve and not settle for the current situation in which the child is.

- An adequate work plan is created to achieve the objectives.


Reasonable goals

If you understand perfectionism as the ability to overcoming and always wanting to give the best of them, we are talking about a very desirable value. However, the problem arises when the goals set are not reasonable and there are no means to achieve them. In some situations children have too high expectations of themselves, which leads them to be too critical.

In these situations children are not able to reason about their goals, and any result that is not this ideal will be seen as a failure that will affect them at a psychic level. A frustration that will give another result than expected since this sensation will block the children giving rise to feelings of sadness or guilt, causing their self-esteem to decline.

An excessive perfectionism makes children focus their attention on its negative aspects, exaggerate their mistakes and experience a rigid thinking. For them there is no middle ground between total success or absolute failure. There is no possibility of being wrong, in his opinion. Therefore, starting new adventures or itineraries causes fear because it could mean a failure.


What can parents do in these situations? These are some tips offered by AMEI-WAECE:

- Know the limitations of the child and never ask for more than they can give. Without leaving room for conformism, parents must accept that their child has limitations.

- Empower positive emotions and emotionally educate so that the child knows how to deal with negative feelings.

- Provide constant support. The support of parents is essential, especially when the results are not as expected.

- Enhance the trust of the little ones and make them understand that being wrong is human.

- Give example. Parents are the mirror in which they watch the smallest, facing the bad times without frustration will be a great lesson for the children.

Damián Montero

Video: Carol Dweck on Perfectionism


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