Parental perfectionism

Every parents want to raise their child or children perfectly but what happens if they go too far?

First of all nowadays one thing is scientifically clear and proved; perfectionists are made and not were born. The occurrence of perfectionism is growing. One of the reason is those parents look for their own status in their children’s achievements and its pressure on children just grows. They can take this pressure as a critic for their mistakes. A lot of parents believe if their children have difficulties in school or his/her performance is not satisfactory (according to them), it means they do something wrong, they are not enough good parents and what the other parents will think. I often can see that; parents identify their parental ability with the performance of children in school or in other part of life. “If my child is not a good student, I am not a good parent or if my child is an excellent student I give a good parental care.”  Honestly, they are not even connected to each other. Perfectionism is one of the type of parental control. Nowadays parents not just take part in their children’s life inordinately but also expect perfect performance from them. One thing is striving for perfectionism and another one is to demand it.

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Perfectionism can be a model for children, anxious parents so often raise (create-make) similar child like them. Those children who deal with high perfectionism experience their own mistakes as a personal failure – they are characterized with high depression and anxiety. In the same way characterized those children as well whom feel their parents overrate them. Perfectionist parents’ children feel if they do not perform on the level which was expected, that will decrease love, respect and recognition what they can get. The problem most of the time is the perfectionist’s level is not 100% of performance, it is 120% which can be unachievable for a child. Perfectionist parents actually do not consider children’s individual abilities and capacities because it is not about their children; it is all about themselves as parents.

How does a perfectionist parent control a child?

Parental perfectionism directs the psychological world of children. Two sources had been identified. One source is the parent own perfectionism that is exaggerated worry about general parental mistakes. Perfectionist parents accept their children just if they perform above the average. I must highlight that it is not just about performance in school, perfectionism presented in all parts of daily life. They use hidden and indirect techniques to maintain their psychological control and use them to encourage their own children to use substantial self-criticism. For instance a technique like sigh, silence or raised eyebrows. Directly they don’t discipline them but clearly make children feel their dislike.

The other source of psychological control is the parents’ fear of detachment from children. Perfectionist parents are over-attached to their children and they worry about their growing autonomy and their children continuous growth threats them with emotional and physical detachment.

Perfectionist parents excite a feeling which is a sense of guilt and they approve their children’s behaviour if they remain emotionally close to them. They are susceptible to keep children in a dependent situation if their adult relationships don’t satisfy their emotional expectations or needs. We can state that; perfectionist parents whom use psychological control on their children (doesn’t matter why – fear of loss or demand of status) are focus on their own needs instead of their children’s needs and personalities.

Striving for perfectionism forces children into an illusion. Perfectionism destroys the real self. Actually instead of creating harmony and self-satisfaction, it creates self-destruction. The continuous feeling of failure (not being able to fill up the parents expectations) destroys children’s self-confidence and often they feel worthless. In children’s mind being loved by existence gets confused with an idea-feeling of being loved because of action; “I am able to be loved if I am doing things perfectly or if I am able to satisfy my parents.

Children pay a very high price for perfectionism. The main problem with perfectionism might be that; it covers the real beauty and joy of life. People do not become stronger by making them perfectionist but let them to be passionate about something what they are interested in.

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