The ways to help a perfectionist

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 10:41 AM CDT
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On this Live, Life, Well we're helping the parents of any perfectionist child.

These children want everything to be just right. If the behavior goes too far, you'll see them obsessing over mistakes. Let's say they scored a 98 out of 100 on a test. This child will obsess over the one question they missed.

They might also be reluctant to try new activities like a swimming lesson. A perfectionist will feel like they should already know how to swim.

The best thing you can do is be quiet while that child is explaining how they feel.

"Don't try to talk them out of it. Don't try to solve the problem. Deal with your own anxiety. Sit still. Listen. Be comforting. Try to understand what this is like for them," recommends clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baker.

After listening, you could share something you tried and the time you failed. Maybe you went out for the basketball team and you didn't make it. You're telling the child not everyone is perfect at everything. We all learn from failure and mistakes.

That's why you next might encourage them to try something new like painting or a dance class. They might succeed or they might fail and learn from it.