Teaching Children to Value Effort Over Perfection

There is often a lot pressure placed on children — either from themselves or others — to be the best, get perfect scores, and have the right answers. They strive to please and don’t want to be criticized for being wrong. Perfectionist tendencies provide them with a sense of control. And while wanting to do well can be motivating, it can also be detrimental when the stress becomes too much.

As a parent, it is important to teach your child that no one is perfect, and it is the effort that they put forth that matters. When children become too focused on perfection, they:

· Are overly critical of themselves and may doubt their abilities

· Are hesitant to try new things beyond their comfort zone

· Become easily frustrated and may give up on things quickly

· Spend a lot of time redoing or rechecking work in an effort to make it better

· Become anxious or upset about making mistakes

So how can you help them to overcome these challenges?

Recognize Effort

Instead of focusing on the results, praise them for the effort they put in to complete the task. Whether they got a perfect score or had some wrong answers, let them know you’re proud of the time they put in studying or practicing. Remind them that mistakes happen, and it’s an opportunity to continue learning.

Plus, one poor test score or bad performance is not going to make or break their future. It does not define them or their worth. Some of life’s greatest discoveries came from experiments that did not go as initially planned. Teach them to find the good in their work.

Value Practice

It’s unlikely that they will be good at everything on the first try. When they’re faced with challenges, continuing to practice rather than giving up is what will bring them closer to their goals. Help them to break down bigger projects into smaller, more manageable parts so they can track their progress as they go. Remind them that even if something isn’t perfect in their eyes, it’s still amazing, their effort shows, and they will keep getting better in time.

Embrace Your Imperfections

Your children learn a lot from watching you, whether you realize it or not. Pay attention to how you handle and bounce back from your own mistakes. Let your kids see that you are not perfect either, and sometimes you have to accept that things are “good enough” even if they don’t meet the high expectations you’ve put on yourself. Learn to laugh at yourself and not be too critical.

If your child is struggling in school, signing them up for tutoring or academic support can help. They’ll learn different strategies to work through challenges, stay organized, and feel more confident in their abilities. With practice, they’ll be able to master tough concepts and tackle tests with less stress. Crafting Scholars can help them to understand how they learn best and how to use this knowledge to their advantage. Contact us today to learn more!