Grades. Homework. Competitive Sports. There is so much pressure on kids today to build the perfect college resume. It's even trickled down to younger kids, and perfectionism is wreaking havoc on their mental health.
Just last week The Washington Post wrote an article about how perfectionism is hurting tweens and teens today. From the article:
"Mounting evidence shows how destructive perfectionism can be. This tendency can be found at the root of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and, in the most extreme cases, even suicide, according to Gordon Flett, one of the worlds’ leading researchers on perfectionism at York University in Canada.
At its worst, perfectionism acts as a trap. In an effort to maintain that flawless facade, a perfectionist must hide any vulnerabilities. It can hold someone back from asking for help."
The article does give parents a few strategies to help their perfectionists:
- Build awareness / talk about perfectionism as a family
- Normalize distress
- Encourage self-compassion & self-forgiveness
- Model healthy coping when life doesn't go as planned