Some days, I wish I were more of a perfectionist.  I see the splotch of paint on my bedroom ceiling and think, “Oh, I should have touched that up…nine years ago.”  I notice the slightly askew picture frames on our family room wall and wish I had bothered to measure before I hammered the nails in to the wall.  Then, I forget about it.

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