My son is a perfectionist (5 years old) and often gets mad if he can’t draw something well (a boat) or he is cutting something intricate and the paper rips…and lots of other things!
I love this phrase Erin suggested – “show me the hard part.” I am often sheepish to validate the angry, frustrated feelings, because for my son at least, it often makes him get more angry or melt down and it’s hard to shift gears from there. He seems to want me to fix the problem and I can’t always do that. But I think I need more courage as there seems to be a lot of benefit to allowing those feelings — I guess I need to work on *accepting* those feelings more than anything and leaning into those hard moments!
But a side note, a few things we are doing are: talking about some affirmations from Big Life Journal about progress over perfection, calling his art papers “practice sheets” (when he gets upset I remind him “oh that’s a practice sheet, remember?” and he says “oh” and smiles and usually moves on!), and the last thing is talking about the reason behind what he is doing. He got very upset that the letter he was coloring for his sister’s mailbox from one of the other goose lessons got “messed up.” I did try to validate his feelings as much as I could, and then asked him, “are you making this to be perfect, or to show love to your sister? Will she see the mistake or feel the love from your note?” And surprisingly that seemed to help…he was super cheerful after and finished the letter without any problems.
…idk, hopefully those things aren’t way off course!!