The Bogey of Perfectionism
While a certain amount of diligence and meticulousness is commendable, the extreme form of perfectionism is not.
Perfectionism can be a problem because it stands in the way of a child’s willingness to explore.
Obeying rules becomes more important to the child than investigating new methods and trying out new things. And as we know, exploration is a huge part of learning
So how can you tell if the child you are dealing with is too much of a perfectionist?
The Signs of Perfectionism
A child who is an extreme perfectionist will tend to be anxious to do everything correctly. Her written work will be neat and correct while any little mistakes will stress her. She will choose to stick to the safe methods dictated to her by her teachers and parents and will be wary of experimenting.
At first this may seem like a very desirable trait. After all, the child is obedient, gives no trouble and produces correct, neat work.
Unfortunately there’s a flip side because it means that she will be discouraged from using her own initiative – something that will be reinforced whenever she is praised for being a good girl and for following all the rules.
It will inevitably lead to formalism and frustration and a stifling of her creativity. And it just so happens that creativity and experimentation will always be the first casualties to suffer from perfectionism.
Creativity and the significance of Failure
Creativity can only thrive in a free atmosphere where the child is unafraid to learn and experiment and make mistakes. It cannot thrive where there are too many restrictions and rules.
Failure should be seen as a normal part of learning and children should be taught that failure does not have to be dreaded. In fact, not trying at all is far worse than failure itself.
Fortunately it’s possible to identify different fears in a child’s handwriting before they have any lasting or damaging effect.
There are ways to detect perfectionism in a child’s handwriting and I will show you how in my forthcoming newsletter.
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