Archive A Parent’s Guide to Easing Perfectionism in Children
A Parent's Guide to Easing Perfectionism in Children

Understanding and Mitigating Child Perfectionism‍



Table of contents:

    Perfectionism doesn’t imply excellence in all endeavors but rather an incessant pressure to be excellent in all pursuits. Our readers who are concerned parents often ask us the question, “Is being a perfectionist a bad thing?” Answering this question is complex and depends on the intensity of the trait in your child. Moderate perfectionism could be healthy and propel individuals to achieve their goals. Unhealthy perfectionism could be highly harmful on the other side of the spectrum, leading to anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even eating disorders, according to Kirsten Gilbert, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis. As you can see, a child with a perfectionist personality is prone to mental and physical harm. So, it’s imperative to understand what causes perfectionism in children and how we can help them moderate their feelings. Follow us through to find out.


    Decoding the Perfectionist Personality

    Children with an intense perfectionist personality tend to have low self-esteem and are overly sensitive to criticism. They often obsess over their mistakes, real or perceived. These are the people who, after answering nine out of ten questions correctly on a quiz, focus on the only wrong answer rather than rejoice in their success. This trait can be a sign of both OCD and depression, although they can exist independently of each other.

    According to a study conducted between 2003 and 2017, Dr. Gilbert found that preschoolers who engaged in continuous “performance monitoring” were twice as likely to develop OCD by their teen years compared to those who completed tasks without self-criticism. These findings call for early intervention in mitigating the adverse effects of perfectionism.


    Addressing the Root Cause of Perfectionism

    Understanding what causes perfectionism is crucial to its prevention and mitigation. Often, children who exhibit perfectionist tendencies create an illusion of maintaining control over everything, making it challenging for parents to identify the issue. Well-intentioned parents could also unintentionally encourage perfectionism by urging their children to always strive for the best.


    Helping a Child with Perfectionist Personality

    If you have a child struggling with perfectionism, don’t feel helpless. There’s a lot you can do to help them confront and control their feelings and live a successful life. In the following, we’ll discuss some of the best tips and strategies.


    Helping a Child with Perfectionist Personality


    • Recognize and Address the Inner Critic

    Most adults have learned to cope with self-critical thoughts. However, children grappling with perfectionism need guidance to manage their inner critic. Dr. Huston, a pediatric psychologist, suggests explaining the concept to children and asking them if they experience it. Naming this inner critic can make it easier for children to talk about it.


    • Validate Their Feelings

    Reacting to a child’s failure with false reassurances or rebukes can be counterproductive. Instead, empathize with their disappointment and reassure them that it’s okay to fail sometimes.


    • Applaud Efforts, Not Just Achievements

    Praise your children for the effort they put into their tasks, not just their success. This approach helps them understand that learning is a process and mistakes are part of it.


    • Highlight the Learning Curve

    Explain to them how difficulties and challenges provide opportunities for growth. Share stories of successful people who faced failures initially, reinforcing the idea that mistakes are stepping stones to success.


    • Encourage Positive Affirmations

    Help your child counteract negative self-talk by teaching them to repeat encouraging phrases like “Nobody’s perfect,” “All I can do is try my best, and that’s enough,” and “Practicing helps me get better at things.”


    • Demonstrate Self-Acceptance

    Displaying self-acceptance and admitting your failures can help your child realize that everyone makes mistakes.


    • Share Meaningful Books

    Reading books that help children understand and cope with perfectionism can be beneficial. Some recommended titles include “Beautiful Oops,” “Pilar’s Worries,” “The Good Egg,” “The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes,” and “The Dot.”

    While these strategies can help, some children might need professional assistance to cope with their perfectionist tendencies. If you suspect that your child may be struggling with unhealthy perfectionism, consult a mental health professional.


    Safeguarding Children in Digital Space with Safes

    In today’s digital age, children face many challenges, including cyberbullying, online harassment, and the pressure to portray a ‘perfect’ life on social media. These factors can exacerbate a child’s perfectionist tendencies. Safes parental control app offers an effective solution. It enables you to monitor your child’s online activity and then limit their screen time or block harmful content on their devices.


    Download Safes from AppStore and Google Play. Learn how to put parental controls using Safes with the links down below:



    At auctor lacus fusce enim id tempor etiam amet. Et consequat amet eu nulla nunc est massa dui consequat. Facilisi adipiscing nec condimentum sit laoreet non turpis aenean in. Aliquam cursus elementum mollis sed accumsan nisl ullamcorper in.

    Want to know more about digital parenting?

    Our newsletter is your go-to source for staying updated with the latest information on parenting and online child safety. Subscribe to our once a week must have tips, to simplify parenting in the digital age. Read the editor’s top pick of the week to ensure a safe online experience for your child.

    More from Our Blog

    mother and daughter brushing their teeth in front of the bathroom mirror
    Do you want to create a routine but don’t know where to start? Read on for a free printable chart and to learn how to make a toddler schedule chart.


    Emotionally Unavailable Parents
    This article provides strategies for recognizing and addressing emotional unavailability, along with the importance of parental self-care.


    Understanding and Dealing with Social Media Envy in Kids
    Social media envy is being jealous when comparing oneself to others on social media. With curated posts, it’s easy for kids to feel left out or inadequate.


    A Parent's looking at her Child text messages
    Are you trying to get a hold of your underage kid’s text messages? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In this day and age, when many kids are spending increasingly more time texting on their phones, you as a parent might be concerned about whom your child is texting, and what these text messages contain. And you have every right to be. So, if you also want to know how to see your kid’s text messages on their phone, this article is exactly where you need to be. 


    Get Weekly Parenting Must-Knows in Your Inbox

    Deepen your parenting knowledge with our tips and tricks. Receive our editor’s top picks in your inbox once a week—no spam guaranteed.

    Download Safes Kids for Chrombook

    1. Install the Safes Kids app on your Chromebook from Google Play. 
    2. Pair Safes Kids with parent app. Follow the instructions in the app to pair your child’s device with your parent device.  
    3. Add the Safe Kids Chrome extension. Open Chrome and go to the Chrome Web Store. 
    4. Navigate to the Manage extensions page. Click the three dots in the top right corner of Chrome and select “Extensions”>”Manage Extensions”>”Details”
    5. Turn on “Allow in incognito mode” This will allow the Safe Kids extension to work in incognito mode, which is important if your child uses incognito mode to try to bypass the parental controls.
    6. Select Safes extension and follow on-screen instruction

    Download Safes Kids for Android

    Download the Android Kid’s app directly to get the full features!

    Download Safes Kids App on Play Store

    Download Safes Kids App on Play Store

    Safe Kids is available on the Google Play Store, but if you download it directly from our website, you will get access to Call and SMS monitoring feature, You can monitor the phone calls of your child’s device, as well as the contacts and messages they have sent and received, including those containing inappropriate content.