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My 7 year old is a perfectionist. If he thinks he won't do something perfectly, he doesn't even try-- he starts crying and hyperventilating. How can I help him?

6 Answers
Last Updated: 06/22/2021 at 6:43pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Monique Thompson, LPC, LPC-S

Licensed Professional Counselor

I am in my 21st year as a psychotherapist. I have worked with over 3, 000 people over the course of my career.

Top Rated Answers
February 3rd, 2018 2:01am
When you see him start to become overwhelmed, encourage him to stop -- take some deep breaths with you, get some fresh air, reassure him that you are proud of him, etc. If trying to calm him doesn't work, it may be worth taking him to see a therapist.
March 19th, 2018 2:28pm
I would first give an honest look to my own behavior as a parent, perhaps you are the same? than I will consider a consultation. Some very bright kids are acting like that because they (or others) demand so much of them. It is important to give attention to this behavior when the child is young.
July 25th, 2018 12:03am
hmmm this sounds like a bit of anxiety forming. My daughter did this long ago as well. What I found that helps is letting them see me I was not perfect. I let them see me make a mess, not get mad and just deal with it. It takes some time, but you will see improvement. Also have you just asked him whats going on when something is not done right? I hope this is a start for you.
March 19th, 2019 3:06am
Reassure your son that giving something a go is enough, and that you will be proud of him as long as he tries his best. If this gets out of hand, i would recommend talking to a licensed child therapist. However, if he doesn’t want to do something, don’t force it. I understand this would be frustrating, but patience is key here. your son needs to be understood, comforted and praised. I would hope that your support is unconditional toward your son, so show him that you will be proud no matter how well he does something. Good luck!
May 28th, 2019 5:25pm
Hi my name is Sarah. First of all I want to thank you for speaking out that is such a brave move. Bipolarity is a disorder that affects the moods it can be caused by many factors that surround us too. However being bipolar is having to deal with all of these feelings that change frequently. I suggest you to do a research online for more specific answers. You may as well read the 7 cups Bipolarity guide. This will help you learn more about Bipolarity which might help you overcome your suffering. Thank you for reading. If you need any help, I would gladly be there for you.
June 22nd, 2021 6:43pm
Hi there! I’m sorry to hear about your struggles currently with your son. I think he may be dealing with some self-esteem issues and feels that he is not good enough. He may be comparing himself to someone, such as people from school or on the internet. You should be always be acknowledging your son’s accomplishments, no matter how small or imperfect it is. I think building his confidence is vital to preventing his need to be a perfectionist. You can also have talks with him about everyone is not perfect and that it is okay to make mistakes. Be a role model and express how you feel after making mistakes in a positive light in front of him. Hope this can help!