Every parent wants their child to get the best marks in school, to be successful in every field they are in. Unfortunately, nobody can be perfect. Attempts to be perfect can sometimes cause more harm than good. The risk of perfectionism is that instead of just spending time with a child or having something done, the person keeps thinking about the things that could have been done better. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, real perfection is unattainable.
However, seeking high standards from yourself and your child is desirable. The problem starts when it reaches extreme levels and when the failure is not acceptable or tolerated. The child can start thinking he is not good enough and feel that the only thing that makes him loved and valued by his parents is his success and performance. The child can learn, as expected, to pretend that everything is ok. It could lead to low self-esteem, fear of failure and even anger.
So what can be done? Let things go, have more realistic expectations and enjoy the time you have with your child. Neither you nor your child is perfect and that it perfectly ok, so stop worrying about it. When the parent is happy, more relaxed and spontaneous, the child is also much happier and has the chance to be the perfect model of his own.
– Gabija Kisieliūtė is a third year psychology at the University of Vytautas Magnus in Lithuania. She is following a Bachelors degree in Psychology. Her main interests are family psychology and aging. She is participating in a summer internship programme at Willingness.com.mt.