Perfectionism In Children and Teens

perfectionism_childrenPerfectionism can be a challenge for children, teenagers and adults. Perfectionistic children are often highly goal orientated, find it difficult to accept failure, and constantly attempt to do things “perfectly”. Children with perfectionistic traits also may have a difficult time completing homework assignments or other tasks, as they are consistently unsatisfied with their work.

Children with perfectionistic tendencies may become distraught, anxious, or angry after making even the simplest mistake, allowing themselves no room for error. Striving for such high and unattainable standards can be overwhelming to children and can lead to high levels of anxiety, panic attacks, anger outbursts, and negative self talk.

As a parent, it can be helpful to talk to your child about how making mistakes is a normal part of the learning and growing process – failure and success can be interpreted in many different ways. By emphasizing realistic expectations and modeling appropriate and positive self-talk can help children to create their own healthy internal dialog. Allowing room for error, without high levels of anxiety.

Children with perfectionistic tendencies, anxiety, anger outburst, and negative self-talk can benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT can help children identify unhelpful thought patterns that create feelings of emotional disregulation and negative self perception. A therapist will then help children replace unhelpful thoughts with more helpful and healthy alternatives. If your child is struggling and perfectionism, negative self-talk, low self-esteem, anxiety, or behavioral outbursts, we’re here to help. Groundwork Counseling provides evidenced-based treatment approaches to help children increase resilience, and self-acceptance. 

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