The Right To Make Mistakes. What Is The Danger Of Excellent Student Syndrome For Adults And Children

The Right To Make Mistakes. What Is The Danger Of Excellent Student Syndrome For Adults And Children
The Right To Make Mistakes. What Is The Danger Of Excellent Student Syndrome For Adults And Children

Video: The Right To Make Mistakes. What Is The Danger Of Excellent Student Syndrome For Adults And Children

Video: The Right To Make Mistakes. What Is The Danger Of Excellent Student Syndrome For Adults And Children
Video: Why Do We Get Angry? | The Dr. Binocs Show | Best Learning Videos For Kids | Peekaboo Kidz 2023, March

According to the head of the Moscow Department of Education and Science, Alexander Molotkov, Moscow schoolchildren will be able to study remotely if their parents make such a decision. According to him, the resources of the "Moscow Electronic School" make it possible to organize education at home. Experts remind that in the context of distance learning, parents need to pay special attention to homework. For many, this will be a real challenge.


The consequences of the pandemic are being studied today in various directions: economics, politics, demography, worldview. For better or worse, the world is changing, probably, time will tell. Meanwhile, scientists are already drawing conclusions about the development of trends, the first shoots of which were noticed even before the situation with the coronavirus, and are revealing new paradoxes taking place in society. So, simultaneously with the statement that during self-isolation, Russian families strengthened, and parents began to devote more time to children, the global network was flooded with forecasts that excessive custody and control by adults could provoke a massive spread of the so-called excellent student's syndrome among the younger generation. And there, they say, not far from the unhealthy manifestations of perfectionism on a global scale.

It would seem, what's wrong? Striving for success in our progressive age is encouraged from school, or even from the very beginning of kindergarten. Early career guidance, testing children for anything and everything, a variety of educational programs and a bunch of innovative opportunities, coupled with a permanent reminder of the competitive environment willy-nilly provoke to try to be the best. In such conditions, you will begin to take peak after peak, winning, overcoming and achieving excellence in personal growth. Children's achievements in education, creativity and sports are encouraged, fought for and proud of.

However, according to the World Health Organization, today in the entire civilized world there is a record number of young people suffering from depression or anxiety disorders. And experts say that one of the main reasons for such sad statistics is the strict standards and requirements that they have been taught to set before themselves from childhood. Experts are sounding the alarm, calling perfectionism a psychological disease of the 21st century, rapidly spreading around the world, and caution parents not to overdo it in the pursuit of perfect results from their children.

Forget about grades

The question of how to prepare a child for the educational process, of course, worries parents.

“Because of the pandemic, our children were not in school for six months, they studied remotely,” says psychologist Lyudmila Fedotova. - That is, they stayed in comfortable conditions: no one distracted them from classes, and parents had more opportunities to help and control homework. But at the same time, the children lost the habit of communicating with their peers, they missed their friends. So, I think discipline problems cannot be avoided. And teachers will need the help of dads, moms, grandparents. But - reasonable. Unfortunately, parents often engage in the race for good grades, completely forgetting that the goal of education is not for the student to do everything perfectly, but for him to learn to acquire certain skills, knowledge and enjoy it. You cannot become successful out of the stick. The fact that a four is not a grade at all is the most dangerous belief in which a child can develop an "excellent student" syndrome.

According to the expert, students motivated for the highest mark, and not for the result, are overgrown with a whole complex of psychological problems by the senior grades. They are sensitive to criticism, they are afraid to make mistakes, and therefore - to take the initiative, to find a non-standard solution.

- Excellent students are aimed only at success, but they give up before any failure, because they are not morally ready for it, - the psychologist continues. - The minimum "failure" can provoke hysteria, and even depression. The desire to earn the highest score, and along with it the praise, makes you literally "hatch" grades, cram for hours, leaving no time for rest, entertainment and communication with friends.

Doctors also speak about the painful symptoms of the “syndrome”. So, pediatrician Tatyana Savina warns about complications that can develop on the basis of emotional tension, constant stress and physical exhaustion of a child who does not give himself the right to make a mistake.

- Headaches, frequent colds, nervous tics - all this can be a sign of complications of the "excellent student's syndrome" - says the doctor. - The child's body is not ready for such strength tests. It is clear that a child with an excellent student's complex is convenient for adults: he tries his best to meet their expectations, is obedient, does not play pranks, does not sit on social networks - he has no time to be distracted by nonsense, he is aimed to be the best in order to earn praise. But in adulthood, excessive diligence can seriously complicate life and negatively affect health.

The other day on the Internet on one of the portals I read tips for parents of first-graders, which says: "Regardless of what you do with a future first-grader, you should always set yourself the goal of forming a child's behavior aimed at making him the best." … According to Marina Sokolova, a teacher with thirty years of experience, the inaccuracy of wording in such recommendations can do a disservice to both children and parents.

“As you know, the best is the enemy of the good,” she says. - During my long work at school, I have not seen ideal pupils in everything. And teaching a child to appreciate the shortcomings that give experience to overcome difficulties is no less important than providing him with a baggage of knowledge. It is also important to understand that assessment is a subjective thing. A three or four is an incentive for development, not a sentence. This is what both children and their parents should understand. A child who is not ready to receive a grade lower than he expected may give up and stop learning altogether.

The portal of the Moscow government published advice from metropolitan teachers on how to set up children for learning, minimize stress and properly support a child in his pursuit of knowledge. And in them, in particular, they also speak about the correct, healthy motivation of the child to acquire knowledge. Thus, the primary school teacher and methodologist at school 1265, Irina Lebedeva, warns that primary school students should not be drastically imprisoned for their lessons and strictly explain to them that the games are over and it is time to learn. According to the expert, this will only scare them, so you need to act carefully and, of course, not get hung up on assessments. The position of the teachers of the capital's schools is formulated very clearly: “It is important to support schoolchildren (especially junior pupils) in their studies and the pursuit of knowledge. There is no need to chase A's and put pressure on the child because of the grades. It is worth remembering that the emotional state of children largely depends on the mood of close adults,”reads the portal.

- My opinion is that you need to go to school not for grades, but for knowledge, impressions, friendship and communication, - Irina Lebedeva comments. - Marks only accompany knowledge. They are not important, but what the child has achieved. Let's say a child writes with one number of mistakes, and after some time there are fewer of them. Let him not get an A yet, but there are fewer mistakes. That's what's important.

Shackles of illusion

Actually, the consequences of parental mistakes associated with improper motivation of children to receive grades, and not knowledge, is mentioned in a recent study conducted by famous American social psychologists Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill.“Forcing to be perfect at school and at work leads to mental disorders, especially among young people,” the experts conclude, adding that “perfectionism is a time bomb for psychological health, and we are afraid that this problem will have to be reckoned with in the future. to educational institutions and employers, and not only to relatives and friends of schoolchildren and students."

“I don’t think that the situation in our country is as critical as foreign colleagues say,” comments Aleksey Yegorov, candidate of sociological sciences. - However, of course, there are prerequisites for the development of such a quality as perfectionism in our country. A competitive environment in prestigious and well-paid fields of activity spurs ambition. And on the one hand, there is nothing wrong with striving for perfection. Perfectionists are responsible for their work, they are assiduous, they check everything a hundred times to avoid mistakes. On the other hand, however paradoxical it may seem, employers do not always like this: for example, a perfectionist often spends more time on completing assigned tasks than a person who is deprived of this quality. And now the dignity is already growing into a disadvantage. And perfectionists, as well as students suffering from excellent student's syndrome, perceive the claims of the bosses painfully.

And according to psychologist Ilya Surovtsev, it is pathological perfectionism that is dangerous, when, even after completing the work at the highest level, a person is still dissatisfied with the result, and in communicating with colleagues does not accept any help, often acting on the principle: “if you want to do well, do it yourself ".

“We all come from childhood,” he says. - Perseverance, accuracy, diligence are excellent qualities only when they are not hypertrophied. Making excessive demands on himself, a person involuntarily drives himself into a corner and finds himself in the shackles of the illusion that everything, no matter what he undertakes, can be done even better. And with age, the lump of problems only grows. Young people are indeed more prone to perfectionism, they often set themselves unattainable ideals, become obsessed with the desire to gain the approval of others and demonstrate their worth. But, as you know, there is no limit to perfection. And those who try to achieve it inevitably lead themselves to failure in their endeavors and, I would say, psychological confusion. Anxiety disorders, self-awareness, self-doubt, leading to inferiority complexes - such a bunch of problems can easily get a perfectionist in pursuit of an ideal.

Not only representatives of the younger generation are susceptible to pathological perfectionism, experts say. According to studies, women suffer from it more often than men. Experts explain this by the fact that the representatives of the strong half of humanity have a career as their main life priority. But I will give a list of goals in which they would like to achieve perfection, much more. Careers, by the way, are also on the list for women. And besides her, you still need to look your best, be the best mother, wife, housewife. to us.

“I’m afraid to go for advanced training in my profession, I will suddenly disgrace myself, because I’m a master hairdresser with fifteen years of experience,” Marina K. asks for advice from psychologists on one of the forums. “I’m afraid that maybe the masters with less experience are better than me in the profession.”

“Could you please tell me how a mother who has an excellent student's syndrome and suffers from excessive self-criticism can raise a child in a different direction? - the user under the nickname Sova is interested. “If I myself cannot cope with my black and white perception, how can I teach my child not to repeat my mistakes?”

“In pursuit of the best result, adults often forget how pleasant it is to enjoy the process itself - study, work, creative activity,” says the psychologist. - This is the biggest mistake perfectionists make.

Smile at failure

Doing nothing beyond measure is advice for all occasions. It also applies to those who are trying to bring the execution of even the smallest task to perfection. But is it worth it to go to the point of absurdity? If you need, for example, to wash the dishes, then the plates and saucers do not have to be arranged in a row in color and size. And if the pasta is of different lengths, this inaccuracy and inaccuracy will not affect the taste in any way.

“For both an adult and a child prone to perfectionism, it is very important to understand that failure is not a weakness, but an engine of development, a reason to go further,” says psychologist Lyudmila Fedotova. - Indeed, in striving for the ideal, the main thing is that this is the path to infinity - opportunities, discoveries, gaining experience, creative abilities. And here everyone has the right to make mistakes. And if you want to be perfect in everything, then a priori you deny yourself this right. The reason for perfectionism at the stage that already affects the psyche, causes depression disorders, often lies in the fact that a person categorically does not even admit the likelihood of his failure. It doesn't matter in what: in the results of the exam, in meeting deadlines at work. And, on the other hand, subconsciously fears failure. This fear paralyzes, makes you work hard, but does not contribute to the development of personality. Someone, working with people whose perfectionism has already acquired the form of a phobia, invites their patients to treat an ideal life with skepticism: they say, there is none and that's it. But it seems to me that this approach is not entirely correct. To live a full, fulfilling, happy life, we must allow ourselves to experience the full range of human emotions - both the joy of victories and the bitterness of disappointment. Allowing ourselves to feel, we develop, we learn something new. But to believe that you can become the best and torment yourself that you are not perfect are different things.

The authors of the study of modern manifestations of perfectionism, Thomas Curran and Andrew Hill, also remind that mistakes are the engines of innovation. “If you perceive mistakes as an acceptable experience, and also remember that mastering something new requires a certain number of failures, then you can start treating them differently. Many digital companies are now adopting a new type of teamwork - the culture of error. No one is able to create new innovative products without failing,”comments Thomas Curran.

By the way, according to statistics, out of 10 attempts to introduce an innovative product, 9 are unsuccessful.

“The road to success is not always straight,” agrees psychologist Ilya Surovtsev. - Remember from history how many brilliant people at school were average, or even poor.

A sense of humor will also help send your desire for excellence in the right direction. Laughing at your mistakes is a great cure for painful forms of Achievement Syndrome, or perfectionism. The world consists not only of black and white, therefore, to limit yourself, thinking according to the principle of "all or nothing" is certainly not worth it.


Recently, experts from the World Psychological Association published the results of a study on the negative consequences of pathological perfectionism. Sociologists cite low self-esteem and unreasonably high expectations for themselves and those around them among the most serious problems. According to research statistics, 82 percent of people with low self-esteem worry about what others think of them, and 74 percent of them admit that they do not live up to their expectations. Even the mere possibility of making a mistake worries 78 percent of people prone to perfectionism.


The permissible load for schoolchildren is clearly spelled out in the sanitary standards, all classes at school (lessons and extracurricular elective circles) are strictly limited in time. Thus, first graders should not spend more than 21 hours a week at school. For senior classes, the maximum permissible load is greater: 34 academic hours per week with a five-day school week and 37 hours with a six-day school. The "temporary" amount of homework should not exceed 1.5 astronomical hours in grades 2-3, 2 hours in grades 4-5, 2.5 hours in grades 6-8, 3.5 hours - in grades 9-11. And first-graders shouldn't have homework at all.

Popular by topic