You might be a little shocked by this but - Don’t turn them into perfectionists!
This is very difficult to do. It is all our fault. In today’s world we push our kids too hard too early and expect them to be perfect. We tell them we do not expect them to be perfect but yet we do not let them make mistakes or get things wrong. It may age me a little but when I was a kindergartener all I had to do was drink milk, take naps and play. Today if a kindergartener does not already know how to read, spell their name and count they are behind. Not too long ago child development experts called the ages seven and below the “pre-academic” stage of life.
Too early in children’s lives they cease being allowed to make mistakes. When they are in school their score or grade is docked with each mistake. When they miss the ball when batting in T-ball or miss catching a ball everyone goes “oh” and “ah”, or worse yet, laughs. Wanting to be prefect is good, but being a perfectionist is not. This is where the roots of shyness can be found.
What are some signs that your child is developing into a perfectionist? If your child hesitates before doing most things. If they say “I can’t” even before they even try. If your child wants to quit the first time something gets hard. If they do not want to turn in their homework because they are afraid it is not perfect. If they say “I am not ready yet’” or “Can I watch first?” If they want to quit something when they feel they do not get good enough fast enough. As they get older they typically suffer from high levels of anxiety and fear. The key at this stage is to reward “effort” and not “results”.
Action Tip: Again the first thing to do is just NOTICE. Just become much more of aware of their behaviors that reinforce perfectionism. Then initially start by recognizing, praising and rewarding effort over results. Here is one of the most powerful concepts I have learned about success – “Do not expect to be perfect at the start….spend your time and energy being perfect at the END!”
Did you know that when the Apollo spacecraft headed for the moon they were off course almost the entire time? They would have to change course and correct all along the way. But in the end they would land within a few hundred yards from the targeted landing spot! That would be like us throw a rock 50 yards and getting it in a small bucket! If NASA and the Astronauts
were perfectionists they would have never left the ground. They only concentrated on being perfect at the end. Perfectionist rarely start anything and quit at the first sign of failure. So teach and reward your child for being a quick, strong starter and that the only thing that really counts is their success at the “end”! The best way is to model it for them.
If you would like to learn more or see the whole report just go to the “Free Parenting Report” button near the top of our new website www.ohanakarate.com!
‘Till next time!
Yours for Rock Solid Kids,