3 Tips to Help Your Child Let Go of Perfection

Dr. Allison Baker, MD, psychiatrist at the Child Mind Institute, shares advice on how to help both parents and children feel less pressure to be perfect.

Keep these tips in mind from Dr. Allison Baker, MD, psychiatrist at The Child Mind Institute to help you and your child let go of the need for perfection once and for all:

Tip #1: Be a model for vulnerability. 

Make it a point to share your experiences of failure with your kids, and how you value the opportunity to fail and learn from your experiences.


Tip #2: Refrain from rushing into judgment about your child's successes and failures.

Instead, listen and support. Kids (and adults) are remarkably perceptive to other peoples' judgments, and sometimes it can shape our behaviors and enhance our desire to achieve perfection.

Tip #3: Skill-build from an early age with kids.

Make it a point to let them stumble and fail, let them develop grit and learn to persevere. You feeling more confident that your child can figure it out when they launch will translate into their enhanced faith in their own capabilities. Then, there is less of a need for everything to be perfect. Remember, the desire for perfection often comes from a place of anxiety and insecurity about one's own competencies.

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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