Perfectionism and adopted children

Psychologist & Author David Brodzinsky, PhD, shares advice for adoptive parents on why adopted kids can often be perfectionists and how to help them with their anxiety and perfectionism
Perfectionism & Anxiety In Adopted Children
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Perfectionism and adopted children

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Many adopted children strive to be perfect, and they are very hard on themselves when they are not. Again, it comes from a sense of insecurity. As parents, we need to be very empathic towards them. We need to help them understand that when they make mistakes, don't do as well in school or in sports that they want to, that we still love them. We don't expect them to be perfect. Learning is a process of making mistakes before we get better. One of the reasons we see this in adopted children is anxiety, if they are not perfect, if they are not meeting mommy and daddy's expectations, that perhaps they will be returned to the country of origin, returned to the foster parents. Young children do not understand about the legal permanency of adoption. The phrase "forever family," is just a phrase. So, if they are not meeting parent's expectations, or they are worried that they are not, sometimes they are anxious and they strive to do so. They strive to be perfect.

Psychologist & Author David Brodzinsky, PhD, shares advice for adoptive parents on why adopted kids can often be perfectionists and how to help them with their anxiety and perfectionism

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David Brodzinsky, PhD

Psychologist & Author

David Brodzinsky is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Foster Care Counseling Project at Rutgers University. He also maintains an active private practice serving the clinical needs of children and families, including individuals who are part of the adoption triad. Brodzinsky has written and lectured extensively in the fields of developmental and clinical psychology and is an internationally known expert in the field of adoption. He is co-author of such well-known books as, The Psychology of Adoption, Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self, and Children's Adjustment to Adoption: Developmental and Clinical Issues.

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