The child/teen labelled ‘wonderful’ following high achievement often develops Performance Anxiety, Perfectionism or addiction to success.
Self Esteem and your Child or Teen
Their self worth is dependent on their performance, not on feeling loved for their person. Over attention to a behavior that gained them recognition, not only breeds massive insecurity, it narrows field of endeavor to ‘success’ areas. I meet many parents who felt as a child or teen ‘seen’ for what they did (academic success, sporting achievement, musical success etc) but that left them feeling that that is what they were loved for , their sense is that they did not feel loved for themselves – and yet that was their deepest need. For more on Parenting at Exam Time
Perfectionists feel loved for getting things perfect, but their need is to feel loved for themselves
Creatively, as a child when you sense this, you do whatever you have to do to feel loved – even if you have to become a perfectionist as you know you are the one seen for getting things perfect, if it gains you visibility you become perfectionist in your behaviors. However, you real need is simply to feel loved whether what you do is perfect or not.
Effort is what matters, not the Performance
Emphasis on performance creates unhealthy competitiveness, resulting in comparisons between individuals.
Top Tips for Parenting your Child or Teen
The best form of competitiveness is Self competition, the person is encouraged and supported to challenge themselves from present level of attainment.
Avoidance of challenge is fear of not being good enough.
Your child needs to feel loved for themselves, not for what they achieve, therefore ensure that you meet their efforts with encouragement and support but that you ensure they feel loved regardless or their positive or sometimes negative behaviors Try to separate the child/teen from their behaviours, and that means you may need to correct the behavior or praise the behavior but regardless you always always love them for themselves, and not for what they do (positively or negatively).
Conditional love is when you feel loved for what you do and not for who you are
People before performance, child needs to feel unconditionally loved, so praise behavior, or correct behavior, but always always love them for themselves & not for what they do (or don’t do).