I have struggled with the appropriate way to approach the topic of perfectionism. I think it is such an important discussion, and I truly want you to hear important information about perfectionism from subject-matter experts.
I think the way I will go about this blog is to speak generally about the topic and then link out to research and articles that can serve as resources for parents dealing with children who are either perfectionist by nature or are feeling pressure to be perfect.
Oddly enough, The Wall Street Journal published a really great article called, “The Perils of the Child Perfectionist.” This article discusses perfectionist in a broad view, the pressures children face, and the unfortunate outcomes associated with this pressure. This article also details a research study that provides insights about parental relation to this pressure, discussing ways to push children towards success that do not cause harmful outcomes for your child.
As you probably know, gifted children also experience perfectionism and the pressure to be perfect. This study highlights the science behind perfectionism in gifted grade school students. The original study was conducted in 2000 and has been since recreated and updated. This is a really good resource for parents of gifted perfectionists because it breaks down the experience those children are having based on grade level, gender and other surrounding factors. For people who like an analytical approach to problem solving, this study is great because it used the Frost Multidimensional Personality Scale (FMPS) to rank perfectionism. This test bases its score on factors such as concern over mistakes, personal standards, parental criticism, organization and doubts about actions.
The last thing I wanted to share is an article about managing and overcoming extreme perfectionism. Although I don’t completely agree with the sentiment that people should overcome perfectionism, I think this article provides ways in which to manage perfectionism and base your perceptions in reality.
I know this was somewhat non-traditional as a blog. However, if you are actually dealing with perfectionism in your child or yourself, it’s much more important for you to hear from an expert than me. I hope you click through these links and do your own research as well. There are links out there to help manage perfectionism. Learning about this issue is the first step to managing it.