What it Means:
Perfectionism is the refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.
What it Looks Like:
Perfectionists in the workplace are often described with highly-regarded traits. A highly sought after employee would likely be described as organized, driven, result-focused, a high achiever, motivated, or even successful. These are qualities that, for the most part, serve employees and employers well. On the other hand, in parenting, these could be obstacles to overcome.
What it Feels Like:
Perfectionists can often feel overwhelmed. They probably set unrealistic goals for themselves and others. They usually find themselves being overly critical of things and often feel frustrated with unmet expectations. Perfectionists have good intentions to get a head start on projects, but they frequently find themselves procrastinating out of fear of failure. For a mom that struggles with perfectionism, parenting can feel like a constant state of “not measuring up.”
Perfectionism and Parenting:
Below are some ways you can help curb perfectionism in your parenting:
- Allow your child to try new activities on their own. Let them make their bed and leave all of the messy wrinkles. Then praise them for a job well done.
- Avoid giving criticism or constant instruction while your child is trying something new. Allow them to figure out what works for them. Remember, this may not be the most efficient way.
- Know that allowing your child to do a task will not yield the same results that you would get if you did it yourself and be okay with that.
- Allow for flexibility with schedules. Rarely will there be a day when a schedule is perfect. Knowing and accepting this will limit the feeling of being overwhelmed when a nap or feeding schedule gets off course.
- Let your child see your flaws and imperfections. When you don’t allow them to see your shortcomings, you are impressing upon them that you expect perfection.
- Be careful not to allow your child’s mistakes or their failure to meet your expectations be a gauge for measuring successful parenting.
“You are magnificent beyond measure, perfect in your imperfections, and wonderfully made.” – Abiola Abrams