Fear of messing up, doing wrong, or not being perfect

Does your child struggle with wanting everything (including themselves) to be perfect?

You want your child to be successful and to excel in all they do, but maybe you've noticed that when something goes wrong or is out of place they seem to crumble. 

Wanting to be good at something and not wanting to "mess up" is ok. It only becomes a problem when we notice our child's brain is blowing the problem out of proportion. AKA - The Worry Monster.

We use the same therapist recommended and reviewed tactics and tools as discussed in last week's email.

  • First, talk with your child. Try to get to the core of what they are worried about. Maybe they are melting down when their homework is too messy, or they do and redo their ponytail until it looks "good", or they tie and untie their shoes unitl it feels "just right." These are all examples of "false alarms" that are going off in your child's brain. Worries that are way TOO BIG for them to manage on their own.
  • Second, validate that what they are feeling feels INTENSE to them. ex. "I can see that this feels really scary to you."
  • Third, make a plan. Talk about how your child can face their fear. Maybe they are only allowed to erase once while doing their homework. Or, maybe they have 5 mins to do their hair or tie their shoes. Plan ahead and allow them to have part in it.
  • Fourth, follow through and ENCOURAGE them. Follow through is important. The fear will decrease only if our child faces it. Show confidence and encouragement. ex. "I'm so proud of how you completed your homework even though it was uncomfortable to leave some mistakes." or "Way to be brave and face your fear of not having a perfect ponytail!"
  • Fifth, be patient and watch them grow! It will take time and work, but you will see improvement. Celebrate that! Be compassionate with yourself and your child. This is HARD WORK that can be heartbreaking at times. 
There is hope. You are not alone!
 
xoxo, Betsy

Leave a comment