WellbeingMental health

Perfectionism is a personality trait that includes striving for flawlessness, impossible to achieve standards and overly critical self or other evaluation. In parenting this can translate amongst other behaviours to having endless rules which are often never met, leading to increased stress and dissatisfaction and feeling exhausted as you try to achieve the smooth running of the household and be the best parent you can be. Perfectionism increases with stress and anxiety and at an extreme level can make a person vulnerable to both poor mental and physical health. 

Perfectionist parents can learn to challenge ways of thinking and manage excess behaviours. Apart from this helping reduce parenting stress, it can also benefit children since a London School of Economics study in 2020 revealed that perfectionism can be passed inter generationally from parents to children. 

Managing perfectionism needs buy in and persistence but some tips include:

  • Adjusting your standards and aiming to achieve good enough
  • Picking your battles and aiming for the big picture
  • Catching the critical voice within you and either focussing on facts or using a ‘coaching’ voice instead
  • Noticing and acknowledging the positive things you do rather than always focussing on the negatives

To learn about managing perfectionism in parenting and the ways in which clinical perfectionism can be treated, do join my webinar scheduled soon.