Parental Perfectionism: 13 Signs and 4 Serious Dangers
You’re stressed, and we understand that
As parents with multiple things to juggle, you may have a lot of internal and external pressure to be perfect. However, this is impossible, and this way of thinking could make you less happy at home, and at work. Letting go of perfectionism is half science and half art.
You need to know scientifically proven techniques (like those for stopping rumination and encouraging self-compassion) and try out different techniques to see which ones work best for you. By figuring out why you try to be perfect and how you might be better off if you didn’t, you can lower your stress and be more present and productive at home and at work.
Also, trying to be perfect is not only very stressful, but it could be extremely bad for your child’s health in the short and long run—not only for themselves but also for those around them during their adult life. If you are a perfectionist parent, there are actions you can take to modify your expectations for yourself and your child.
What is parental perfectionism?
Parents who are hard on themselves and their kids, have high standards for themselves and their kids, and are afraid of failing a lot are more likely to use conditional approval and aggressive parenting. Having high standards as a parent is usually a good thing because it helps a child be successful in life by setting goals.
On the contrary, perfectionism in parenting teaches a child that if he doesn’t meet the highest standards, he is a failure. That fine line of conditional approval is where the major difference lies.
Am I a perfectionist parent?
The best way to create change is to understand where to start, and in this case, it’s to identify whether you are a perfectionist parent or not. In fact, it is essential to understand that being a perfectionist at work and as an individual has very little or nothing to do with parental perfectionism.
This is because being a perfectionist at work involves logical and structured thinking, which often fails when it comes to love, emotions, and most importantly, your children.
Moreover, parental perfectionism can be divided into two approaches: The first one involves expecting yourself to be a perfect parent, and the second one involves you expecting your child to be perfect and conditionally living up to your expectations.
VeryWellFamily has effectively consolidated the signs that help you identify parental perfectionism, including:
Possible indicators that you expect yourself to be a perfect parent:
- Frequently criticizing yourself
- Taking the blame for your child’s failures
- Comparing oneself to other parents and feeling inadequate
- You beat yourself up for not being able to do more for your children, despite the fact that you already do a great deal for them.
- Constantly questioning your parenting decisions
- You frequently lose your cool because your expectations are too high.
Signs that you’re expecting your child to be perfect:
- Difficulty seeing your kid do an activity if she does not do it your way.
- You are micromanaging your child’s task completion.
- Putting your kid under pressure to succeed every time
- Criticizing your kid more than praising him or her
- Forcing your kid to pursue your goals
- Making your self-worth dependent on your child’s success
- Reacting as if your child’s activities, such as a math exam or a soccer game, were life-changing occurrences.
Some Impacts of Parental Perfectionism:
Nobody is more impacted by your parental perfectionism than your own child. There are implications on their mental well-being that are likely to impact their other aspects of life. The following are a few common characteristics of individuals who often grow up with perfectionist parents.
- Fear of rejection is created by perfectionism: Oftentimes, a child’s motivation to accomplish is fueled by a fear of rejection, despite the efforts of perfectionist parents to raise children who are ambitious and have lofty goals. They crave continual approval and experience feelings of worthlessness when they do not obtain it.
- Perfectionism produces children who are unhappy with themselves. When the bar is set excessively high, first by parents and later by children themselves, it becomes almost hard to attain attainable objectives. This causes children to feel worthless and discontent with themselves.
- Individuals with perfectionist parents are more likely than others to acquire an addiction. They may believe that doing drugs is the only way they can operate as their parents expect. A high may boost their confidence to the point where they can meet their parents’ expectations. They may possibly be abusing drugs as a means of coping with the fact that their parents make them feel worthless if they cannot achieve their expectations.
- Since the child was raised in accordance with your ideal standards, they will seek to please everyone they encounter. For instance, they do not want to decline a job for fear that it would imply they are incapable of doing it. They may not want to seem weak to others, so they attempt to take on more than they can manage. By conforming to others’ expectations, they are likely to lose their sense of self.
Some children with perfectionist parents could also attempt to exert control over themselves and others via perfectionism in order to feel more comfortable.
For example, in order to get a feeling of control and consistency that s/he is not receiving from her parents, an adolescent could revise an essay for hours or measure her breakfast cereal before consuming it. Children acquire perfectionism as a means of compensating for emotions of guilt and a profound sense of inadequacy.
SuzyApp gives your child the freedom to make their own choices by providing them the opportunity to make their screen time healthier. As a reward for learning something new, the app puts an educational app before a fun app.
This is based on the idea of delayed gratification, which helps kids learn to be more patient and logical when making choices, control their impulses, and find their own motivation to learn about their interests.
With SuzyApp, you can take the first step to let go of parental perfectionism and trust your child to take responsibility for their own development through our range of applications, time limits, and a safe learning environment online. Learn more about how SuzyApp does this here.