Understanding Perfectionism: How to Make It Work For, Not Against, You and Your Kids | Sharon Saline, Psy.D. | 7 Min Read

April 19, 2023

Honestly, it’s tough to be a perfectionist writing about perfectionism. Wait, let me rephrase that: a recovering perfectionist writing about perfectionism. See, there it is—correcting myself to get it right. I like accuracy, accountability, and setting high standards for myself. These traits can be motivating and help me accomplish my goals. But sometimes, these same characteristics get in my way when it’s time to actually turn something in or complete a task. Is it clear enough? Is it well-written enough? Is the meal tasty enough or the gift nice enough? You get the picture. Perhaps you or your child or teen have similar thoughts. 

Over the years, I’ve learned that perfection is a powerful myth that holds me and many other people back from sharing their authenticity, creativity, and intelligence. Perfectionism develops as an ineffective coping mechanism for dealing with anxiety. Like anxiety, it also runs in families. Many parents who set extremely high standards for themselves often do the same for their kids. This type of pressure ultimately leads someone to crack: it’s too much to expect ourselves to get things right all of the time. That’s not what being human is about. So, in…

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Sharon Saline, Psy.D.

Sharon Saline, Psy.D. is a top expert in ADHD and neurodiversity. Dr. Saline specializes in an integrative approach to managing ADHD, anxiety, executive functioning skills, learning differences and mental health issues in neurodiverse and 2e children, teens, college-age adults and families. With over 25 years of clinical experience, she brings a positive, strength-based approach to improving the challenges related to attention, learning and behavior. As a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Northampton, MA, Dr. Saline helps people reduce frustration, develop daily living skills, communicate better and feel closer. An internationally sought-after lecturer, workshop facilitator, and educator/clinician trainer, she adeptly addresses topics ranging from making sense of ADHD and executive functioning skills to managing anxiety to understanding the teen brain. You may contact Dr. Sharon Saline at https://drsharonsaline.com.