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Blog: Helping Kids Become Organized
The ABC's of Organizing Kids: P is for Perfectionism



There are many things that we can teach our children about perfectionism.  First let me say that it is not necessarily a good thing. Years ago I used to pride myself in feeling like I was a perfectionist but found over time and especially when I had children that this was not only impossible but it wasn't even a good thing.  Why you might say?  Perfectionism is neurotic attention to details.  This means that we are spending more than a necessary amount of time doing something.  If we teach our children to be too focused they may be doing a lot more than what is "good enough" or even worse not do the things that they really need to.  As their life gets more complicated and their schedule full; knowing how to do the things that will really matter to them is a key factor.  

Instead of teaching them to be a perfectionist, we want them to strive for excellence.   I want my children to go the extra mile; so it doesn't mean that they just settle for the status quo, but that they again are looking at a bigger picture.  If they strive for overall excellence versus perfectionism they will be a lot less likely to get bogged down in one area and miss the forest through the trees.  There are many people who need organizing help and are clearly perfectionists.  The reason for this is that they have meticulously worked on one area while the world around them is falling apart.   Children and adults both miss opportunities because of keeping their attention entrenched in one area and this causes them to miss things going right by.

What can we do to help our children in this area?  First, be aware of your own behavior.  Your child is much more likely to mimic your behavior; especially during the early years when they are establishing their personalities.  Also, be aware of their personality development and if you see their habits go in that direction, give them a little guidance.  I have found that as children get older and busier they can actually learn to better manage their time and with a little guidance; realize that they do not have the time to be a perfectionist.   Finally, you can help them by having them step back and think about what is most important to them.  When their schedule gets crazy, being able to make decisions on how to spend their valuable time can be the difference between success and meltdown.  It is not a matter of how many things you accomplish but whether you are accomplishing the things that are getting you where you want to be.

posted on: 1/21/2008 9:00:00 AM by Rosanne Larkins
category: Family


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Helping Kids Become Organized


by Rosanne Larkins

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About Rosanne:

Rosanne Larkins, Defining Time & Space Professional Organizing, Helping people put peace into their life through simplifying things around them. Reduce stress through creating order, save money knowing what you have, save time knowing where to find things.



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