Posts Tagged Perfectionism and Learning

Focus on Success

No one is good at everything. We all have our strengths, and we all have our weaknesses. Children are no different. Why, then, do so many teachers and parents expect perfection from their children in all areas—straight A’s in school, a star athlete, cast as the lead in the school play, volunteers in the community, plays the piano, etc? Some even go so far as to discipline a child for a weakness, by imposing a punishment if something isn’t up to spar or offering a reward if the child “tries harder.”

Of course, we should have high standards for youth. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Men are born to succeed, not fail.” Renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow agreed with this concept … >>>


Striving for Perfection Hinders Learning

Striving for perfection, rather than for continual improvement, leaves children and students reluctant to admit mistakes or apologize when in the wrong.

Believe it or not, but a common manifestation of perfectionism is that students stop learning; they simply give up. Perfectionism becomes so tyrannical that students develop anxiety attacks. This leads to the thinking pattern that they cannot perform or engage in the activity because they will not be good enough. The next stage is total paralysis.

Adults should foster failure as feedback. Failing is a natural outcome of trying, and it is a great teacher. That is, it can be if the choice is to learn from it rather than be crushed by it. The adult’s message … >>>