Striving to be the best vs. perfectionism and anxiety

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Striving to be the best vs. perfectionism and anxiety

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Encouraging children to be their own best and to be the best at everything they can do is very, very different from encouraging them toward perfectionism. Perfectionism shouldn't be a goal for any person or child. One of the things that we know about children is they have different levels of strengths. What we should do is encourage them in their strengths. And gradually their weaknesses will subside. But personal best is something that we want children to understand and to measure themselves against rather than having society or teachers or classrooms always hold up perfectionism as a goal or a standard for children or teens. It's difficult always to determine a child's true potential. What we know about children is the potential changes, because there's a spectrum of development over life that gives children different bursts of strengths. And also different plateaus and times of relative weakness. So what we always want to encourage children to do is to strive for their personal best and begin to be able to evaluate when they're not quite hitting that mark, and know that it motivates them intrinsically to push beyond that plateau and reach for something that's a little harder and a little less attainable.

Watch Reveta Bowers's video on Striving to be the best vs. perfectionism and anxiety...

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Reveta Bowers

Head of School

Now starting her forty-second year, Reveta Bowers is the Head of School at The Center for Early Education, an urban pre-school through 6th grade Los Angeles independent school with 538 students. Devoted to children and education, Ms. Bowers served and has served on a number of boards. She is currently on Board of Overseers of the UCLA Healthcare System, on the founding board of the African American Board Leadership Institute and the board of the FEDCO Charitable Foundation. She just completed serving as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the California Community Foundation. A past president and former secretary of The Educational Records Bureau Board, Reveta Bowers was also a member of the Advisory Board to the Klingenstein Center at Teacher’s College for ten years. She served as an outside director on the Board of Directors of the Walt Disney Company for ten years and is a former member of the Harvard-Westlake, Brentwood and Windward School boards. Reveta was on the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education board, and the boards of the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls and the Country Day Headmaster’s Association. She served as a trustee and treasurer of the NAIS Board, and as past president of the California Association of Independent Schools. For the past thirteen years she has also been on the faculty of the NAIS Institute for New Heads where she serves as the Lead Faculty member. One of her proudest career moments was receiving the NAIS Diversity Leadership Award in 2009. She has had a long and rewarding career in independent schools and finds her work with organizations supporting education, students, parents, community and Board work to be continually inspiring.

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