Do you have a little one who likes to “do things right…” or else just not do them at all?  Check out my article on for important tips on how to parent a perfectionist:


When I watch my seven-year old daughter agonize over handwriting homework and berate herself for missing one question on her 30-problem math test, I thank the gods of “good enough” that perfectionism was never my thing.  And I ask those same gods for advice on how to help my child overcome her need to be flawless.

If you, too, are the parent of a perfectionist, here are some tips that I have found to be most effective:

1.       Play up personal strengths and play down competitions

In school and at home, my daughter loves to win.  My husband insists that this is a great quality and I know that in many ways, her desire for excellence will serve her well.  Yet I also know that too much of a good thing can be rough, especially for young kids who hold themselves to impossibly high standards.  When my daughter seems singularly focused on being the ‘best” reader in her class or getting the “highest” score in math, we try to re-focus her energies on achieving personal bests and celebrating individual accomplishments instead.  She is visibly calmer and more confident when she attends to her own goals rather than comparing herself to others.