When is perfect not a good thing? How do you help a young child know that “perfect” is sometimes just too much? How do you handle the emotions that are attached to wanting to do, write, draw, speak or be perfect?
We’ve noticed since an early age how Schmee sometimes has to have things a certain way. Usually it revolves around creating something or doing something that he has seen before. He’s always been one to slowly enter an environment and sit back and observe before trying it out for himself. He likes some things a certain way like doors to a building (they should be closed) but other things like clothes can go wherever. There never seems to be a rhyme or reason except if he thinks he can do it and can’t or it doesn’t happen exactly as the video on YouTube showed—then he becomes upset.
As parents, we want nothing but the best for our children, and we are confused and worried, as well as concerned. Confused because a moment ago everything was great. Worried because his frustrations can be very combative and take a long time to work through—often cycling through several emotions within just a couple of minutes. All this appears scary and leaves an unsettled feeling within our gut.
I asked a friend what their thoughts were about this, alluding that I hope it wasn’t signs of having obsessive-compulsive behavior. (I think I was hoping I could at the very least label it and then be able to “do” something about it.) Her kind advice was to be there for him. We are committed to supporting him and modeling positive actions and reactions—as well as showing him that we care and that we want to help him understand his emotions.