Helping Kids Cope with ADHD and Perfectionism

Today we’re gonna talk about Helping Kids Cope with ADHD and Perfectionism

I’m Angela Howard and my passion is to break the stigma of mental health issues among fellow Christians. If you’re new to my channel please subscribe and don’t forget to click on that notifications bell so you don’t miss out on any of the new content.

Author and psychotherapist Dr. Richard Carlson wrote, “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.” It’s a phrase we’ve probably all heard, but it’s often hard to put into practice—especially if you are struggling with perfectionism and have ADHD. As a parent of kids with ADHD you hear people constantly telling your kids to do all of the things that are hard for them to do:

  1. Pay attention to details.
  2. Focus on the task at hand!
  3. Just get started, and don’t overthink everything.

If we are honest we have probably said those exact things to our kids as well. Why? Because we aren’t perfect either.

Perfectionism can cause a lot of problems in academics, in relationships, and in multiplying feelings of anxiety and frustration. So how can we help our kids to cope with ADHD and perfectionism and find success in spite of this obstacle?

Coping with Perfectionism and ADHD

  1. Remember that feelings of perfectionism for kids with ADHD may be magnified because they often have difficulty managing their emotions. This is why it’s so helpful to offer the resource of counseling and other safe places to share their emotions. Reflect their emotions so that they know you empathize and choose to be the calmest person in the room.
  2. Enlist some outside perspective. When my daughter was struggling with perfectionism I reached out to one of her teachers who confirmed that he saw the same thing in class. He partnered with me to help her realize that it was ok to let some things go and learn how to focus on what was the most important.
  3. When they are obsessing on the small details take a time out and ask these questions: What’s the worst thing that could happen? Does this really matter? If the worst happens, will you be okay with that result? Will you still care about this next month? Next year?
  4. Focus on some truth statements: “Remember, no one is perfect.” “Mistakes happen to everyone.” “Tomorrow is a new day.”
  5. Help your child examine their expectations. This will look differently depending on their age and it might be best to approach this during a non-stressful time.

There is always a point when good is good enough. It’s vital to teach our children that we value their mental health, physical health, and them as individuals ABOVE how they perform. Remind them of what it says in Romans 8:37-39…


37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)


What questions do you have about ADHD? Comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer your question.


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