Let’s Talk About Perfectionism – Why it happens. What do do.

Perfectionism is a sly little beast. It looks and sounds like something that should be okay, but it never is. The need to be perfect will so often stop people – big ones and little ones – from reaching their potential. They will be more likely to hold back from new things or new experiences unless the outcome is guaranteed – which it never is when it’s something brave or growthful.

Perfectionism is a form of ‘flight’, as in, ‘What if it’s wrong?’ ‘What if I’ve made a mistake?’

Of course, we want them to recognise their potential and go after that, but mistakes will be part of that.

Mistakes are part of learning, not a disruption to it. There’s a part of the brain that is only activated when we make a mistake. We’ll remember the word we got wrong in the spelling test or the feedback from that thing we did that we cared about.

Perfectionism can be a sly little beast. It can hold kids back from taking safe risks that will grow them. They’ll be less likely to try new things or hard things unless they know they’ll do them well. Or they might procrastinate (also flight) and leave things until the last minute.

For these kids, mistakes or failure will trigger a felt sense of relational threat. ‘What if I’m humiliated?’ ‘What if my teacher or my parents think less of me?’

To support children through perfectionism we need to build as much relational safety as we can.

Focus on effort over outcome: ‘What matters more than the mark is the work you’ve put into it. There will be more tests and assignments, but what’s going to matter isn’t the mark you got today, but that you’re willing to try/ have a go.’ Or, ‘Whatever happens, I couldn’t be prouder of you. You’ve worked so hard and that’s what matters most.‘

Shift the focus from the ‘threat’ (the mistake) to the ‘opportunity’ (the learning). ‘I can hear how much the mistakes matter to you, but I’m really interested in what you’ve learned.’

Perfectionists will put more pressure on themselves than we ever can. Any anxiety they feel from us will add to the pile-on.

Don’t tell them you can handle imperfection – show them. Share, with strength, your own stories of failure or mess-ups – the littles and the bigs.

Most importantly, don’t protect them from mistakes or failure. Our job isn’t to protect them from the discomfort of imperfection but to make space for the experiences that will show them that they (and we) can handle their imperfections.

The truth is, it’s the vulnerability that comes with imperfection, and our willingness to embrace that, that we tend to love most about each other.

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Honestly isn’t this the way it is for all of us though?♥️

#childanxiety #parenting #separationanxiety
Big feelings can be so beautiful. And so tricky. 

We want our kids to know that all feelings are okay, and we also want to support them to handle those feelings in positive ways. This is going to take time. We were all born with feelings, but none of us were born able to regulate those feelings. That will come with time and lots (lots!) of experience. 

In the meantime, the way we respond to their big feelings and the not-so-adorable behaviour it can drive, can be key in nurturing their social and emotional growth. So let’s talk about how.

Proactive Parents is a community event hosted by @mindfullaus . I’ll be providing parents, caregivers and educators with the skills and tools to better understand big feelings and the behaviour it fuels.

Understanding how to respond when young people are overwhelmed can drive calm and connection over conflict. Ultimately, our responses have enormous potential to build important neural pathways that will strengthen them for life.

This presentation will explore the powerful ways parents and carers can, quite literally, influence the strengthening of the brain in ways that will build self-control, emotional regulation, and resilience in their children for life.♥️

When: Sunday 25 Feb 2024, 10am-2pm
Where: West Gippsland Arts Centre, Vic
Buy Tickets here: https://sales.wgac.com.au/event/379:2410/379:3923/
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We have to change the way we think about school. When we prioritise academics, it's like building the walls - because that's what we see - before fortifying the foundations.

So many teachers know this, but with the increased focus on reporting and academics, they aren't being given the time and opportunity to build the relationships that will ensure those foundations are strong and steady.

This is why too many kids are falling down at school - not because they aren't capable, but because the necessary foundations for them to do well haven't been laid.

Schools are spending the resources anyway, but reactively on behaviour management, disengagement, reduced capacity to learn.

If we can steer those resources towards building relational safety, so kids feel more seen, valued, cared for, rather than less capable or clever, we'll see a decrease increased academic success, greater engagement, less social struggles, and less behaviour issues. It's just how it is.

First though, we need to value relationships and the way kids feel at school, even more than how they do at school. All kids are capable of their own versions of greatness, but unless they feel safe and cared for at school, we just won't see what they are capable of, and neither will they.❤️
We also need to make sure our teachers feel seen, safe, cared for, valued. Our kids can’t be the best they can be without them.♥️
Separation can be tough! Not just for our kiddos but also for the adults who love them. 

As brutal as separation anxiety can feel, it also comes with transformative opportunities to strengthen your child and build their brave in ways that will serve them now and for the rest of their lives. 

Of course we’d rather our young ones (or ourselves) never feel the tailwhip of separation anxiety, but so many young people are going to experience anxiety at separation from a loved one. It’s part of being human, but it doesn’t have to hurt. 

As their important adult, you have a profound capacity to support them through separation anxiety and help them feel braver, stronger, and closer to you, even when you’re not beside them. Let’s talk about how.

This is information I wish every parent could have.

We want our children to feel loved and supported, but we also want to build their brave so anxiety doesn’t stand in the way of the important, growthful things they need to do.

In this 1.5 hour webinar, I’ll be presenting practical, powerful ways to build bravery when separation feels tough - at school, at bedtime, at drop-off - any time being away from you feels tough.

A recording of the webinar will be available to all registered participants for 30 days following the ‘live’ online event.

To register or find out more, google ‘hey sigmund webinar separation anxiety’ or see here https://www.heysigmund.com/upcoming-live-webinars/ ♥️

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