Helping Students Who are Perfectionists

If you have ever known a perfectionist you are already aware of how easily he or she can become frustrated. The need for perfection is such an overriding desire that all other considerations fly out the rational mind.

What Makes a Perfectionist?

One theory about this behavior is that perfectionists try to protect themselves from embarrassment, criticism, anger and the withdrawal of love or approval by controlling the environment and the reactions of others. Perfectionist can become highly anxious when a mistake is made and usually have a chronic fear of being humiliated which can stem from self-esteem issues based on a excessive need for a perfect performance. Perfectionists will often have strong feelings of inadequacy and will view themselves as failures because of their high expectations.

Perfectionists student

This fear of making errors or wrong decisions, a desire to avoid criticism, cautiousness and the need to know and follow rules are usually positive traits but within the perfectionist’s mind the rigid rules and excessive compulsions can result in substantial pain. This pain can also lead to severe bouts of anger.

These behaviors can also cause problems for teachers as well as parents.

Perfectionist and Behavior Problems

With children who have perfectionist tendencies, this behavior can interfere with functioning in the classroom. The child’s expectations for his or her work are so high that completing or even starting the work is often hindered. This only adds to a diminished self-esteem, a high level o feelings of inadequacy, poor performance and high levels of anxiety. This high level of perfectionism can also be exhibited in stage fright, headaches, depression and even suicidal behavior.

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