When “Perfect” Isn’t Good
If you ask these questions, there is a reasonable chance your child may struggle with perfectionism. According to the Center for Parenting Education, children with perfectionism put a large amount of pressure on themselves to be perfect and without flaws, leaving the child with an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety.
Where does Perfectionism come from?
Perfectionism can arise from a combination of inborn tendencies, environmental factors, excessive praise and/or demands from parents and teachers, observations of adults with perfectionistic tendencies, and conditional love based upon achievement and/or status.
What can happen if perfectionism is not addressed in childhood?
Perfectionism, at its highest degree, leads to negative affects with normal development and social relationships. It is linked to performance and social anxiety, eating disorders, migraine headaches, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and suicide. As a parent, it is important to know the signs of perfectionism and seek assistance to prevent lasting mental health problems later on in life.
Characteristics of Perfectionism:
- Tendency to become highly anxious or upset about making mistakes (ex: rip up his/her paper or quit if one thing goes wrong)
- Chronic procrastination and difficulty completing tasks
- Self-critical/ self-conscious; low self-confidence (ex: “I can’t, I am stupid, I am terrible, I will never understand”)
- Chronic fear of embarrassment or humiliation (ex: worries about what others think, afraid to ask questions)
- Overly cautious and thorough in tasks (ex: spending 2 hours on homework that should take 30 minutes)
- Tries to improve things by rewriting
- Frequent catastrophic reactions or meltdowns when things do not go perfectly or as expected
- Refusal to try new things and risk making mistakes
- Emotionally guarded or socially inhibited
- Experience headaches or physical complaints when they perform below the expectations of themselves or others
If your child struggles with some of these characteristics, please do not ignore them! It is important to provide your child with the tools he or she needs to overcome the pressure of perfectionism and build resiliency for the future. See below contact information to schedule a free consultation.
Dolvin Elementary Onsite Associate Professional Counselor
Brittany Byrd, M.A
Summit OnSite provides a professional therapist who specializes in working individually with children and adolescents. Brittany Byrd is trained, licensed, and experienced to provide social, emotional, behavioral and mental health counseling support. Brittany is onsite at Dolvin Elementary School every Monday and Thursday. She is passionate about guiding students through the “often challenging” years of elementary school.
Not only is Summit passionate about removing accessibility barriers for students to receive mental health services, we are also committed to reducing any financial barriers. As an out-of-network provider, we will provide you with the paperwork and support needed to file for reimbursement with your insurance company. If insurance isn’t an option, as a non-profit, the Summit solicits donations to provide Client Assistance Funds for qualifying families to supplement the cost of therapy. Additionally, the Will To Live Foundation, the Be Rich Foundation, United Way, Fulton/Dekalb Hospital Authority and other generous donors have contributed funds over and above our Client Assistance Funds to insure that each student will have the opportunity to receive services through the Summit OnSite program.
To learn more about the program and/or financial support available contact the Summit to schedule a 30-minute pro bono phone call.