Expect Effort and Not Perfection
Many parents struggle to make their children see the good in themselves and others. But this mindset can lead to a downward spiral if parents don't set an example that demonstrates their own effort and not perfection. Children with perfectionist tendencies think others are perfect, and they will likely feel inadequate in comparison. The best way to model good effort is to ask your children what they think and do not judge yourself in front of them. You can ask them for their advice on how to improve their own work, and you can use what they say as guidance when you talk to them.
One way to foster excellence in children is to expect effort, not perfection. When you expect excellence, you allow mistakes to occur, and you value the lessons they teach. Perfectionists, on the other hand, see mistakes as proof of their inadequacy and refuse to learn from them. They also have a low self-esteem and often will not attempt to do things they want. In addition, they may be depressed or even suicidal.
Struggle for excellence instead of perfection
If you struggle with achieving your goals, you should consider a mindset shift to one that focuses on doing things well. While perfectionists tend to focus on doing things 'perfectly', those who strive for excellence focus on doing things well and creating impact. These individuals are not as focused on the future as they are on the present. In contrast, people who strive for excellence value the present and are willing to make mistakes, as long as they can learn from their experiences.
Characteristics of excellence
People often confuse perfection with excellence. In reality, perfection is an unrealistic, often painfully high standard. In contrast, excellence involves sustained effort toward a superior outcome within the context of available resources. People who pursue excellence are engaged, dedicated, focused, and flexible. They aim for high-quality work, productivity, and success, not perfection. However, perfection may not always be attainable. In contrast, people who strive for excellence seek to achieve their goals by working harder and taking more action than they otherwise would.
Characteristics of perfectionism
Perfectionists place a high value on the finished product, and often focus less on learning the process or completing the task to the best of their ability. They are rarely satisfied until the end result is perfect and may procrastinate or avoid social situations until the outcome is perfect. Some characteristics of perfectionism include a preoccupation with perfection and a tendency to be rigid or nitpicky. Ultimately, these traits can lead to serious health problems.
Impact of perfectionism on children
Parents exhibiting the behaviors of perfectionism are more likely to produce their children as perfect, which can lead to psychological distress and anxiety. These children grow up in homes where tension and conflict reign, and they are more likely to become perfectionists themselves. According to a recent study of 159 father-daughter dyads, a controlling father was more likely to produce a perfectionism-prone child.