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Ways to Teach Perfectionist Kids How to Handle Mistakes


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Students, whether studying at an international school in Manila or otherwise, can become perfectionists due to the pressures of school, peers and family alike.

While healthy achievers are fueled with optimistic energy to learn, unhealthy perfectionists are driven by fear and force. On an emotional level, unhealthy perfectionism can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc.

If your child is displaying signs of being a perfectionist, they may grow up afraid of failure which can stunt their ability to learn from their mistakes. Thus, it can be vital for your kids to be open-minded towards negative experiences.

In order to help them get over their perfectionist tendencies, these are the different ways you can teach your kids to handle mistakes:

 

Praise Their Efforts

Getting a 100% on a test or scoring well in a school game is no easy feat and your kids deserve to be appreciated for that. But, praising only their successes can make them feel that outcomes are all that matter.

It is important that you let them know that the process is just as important as the end result. By doing so, you are teaching your kids about the importance of hard work and determination, instead of surface value perfection.

Instead of briefly clapping for their wins, it may be more helpful to explicitly recognize their efforts. Praise does not end with words; you also have to make them feel that they are well-supported.

 

Encourage Healthy Self-Talk

Some students may have a habit of harboring negativity when they encounter a mistake. They will tend to say things like “I am not smart enough for this.” or “I never get anything right.” Saying these harmful words can eat at their self-confidence and make them procrastinate with school tasks since they are so afraid of making mistakes.

You can help build confidence by encouraging them to repeat simple and uplifting phrases like, “I can still improve” or “I will continue to do better.” This way, they will use their failures as opportunities for learning instead of sources of negativity.

 

Teach Relaxation Mechanisms

It can be difficult for students to affirm themselves especially when they feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, schoolwork can get tough and they may find it hard to think of encouraging thoughts.

These techniques meant for calming your kids can be valuable because their performance anxiety may harm them physically if left unchecked. If your children begin to display shaky hands and nervous breathing, here are different relaxation methods you can teach them:

  • Deep breathing for a few minutes
  • Stretching of tired muscles
  • Writing their worried thoughts on paper
  • Listening to their favorite music

 

Key Takeaway

All of the ways listed above are meant to help your kids handle their errors in a healthier manner. It can be important for your children’s well-being to realize that life will not always go their way. Whether studying at an international school in Manila or otherwise, they need to see that mistakes are not the end of the world and there is always the next day to do better.