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|Quick reference medical handouts used
by Pediatric offices
The Perfect Child Syndrome
neighbor has the most perfect child,” a woman e-mailed me recently. “She
doesn’t argue, she never says no, and understands if her mother is too tired
to spend time with her. Can you suggest what I need to do so that my 12 year
old daughter will also become one of those perfect children?’
reminded me of the time, .a number of years ago when I phoned a school
principal for a reference about one of his former students who had applied for
a teaching position in my school. His initial response was, “She spent 13
years in my school and was never sent to my office for misbehaving. Her file
shows that she was an A student from kindergarten until she graduated from
high school. Her teachers commented that she was a pleasure to teach, and
wished they had a class full of students like her. But,” he added, “iI I
were you I would not hire her. She is too perfect, too good to be true.
It is possible that her perfect behavior masks some major problems.”
are “good children” and there are “very good children”. Children, even
infants, detect if their parents have a very strong personality. These
parents’ mentality might be: “my way is the right way and the only
way.” Such children get the sense that they will be loved and
for only if they tow the line and do exactly what their .parents want them to
do. .These are the children who may develop low self-esteem believing that the
love they are receiving is conditional on what they do, and not on who they are.
instances where parents force a child to learn ballet or play a musical
instrument, regardless of whether the child is talented or interested, the
child may sense that he/she is only an object and a showcase for his/her
parents. The way these children avoid putting their parents’ love at risk is
by being extremely quiet and compliant, always trying to put other people’s
needs before their own. They are particularly sensitive to criticism,
equating the slightest negative remark with the
complete withdrawal of love and acceptance. During their teenage years, they
may develop a fear of close relationships with their peers and may even wet
their beds at night...
cure lies in parents having realistic expectations of their children and not
demanding perfection. Our children have to feel that our love for them is unconditional,
even when they misbehave and need to be reprimanded.
children, particularly teenagers, need to be reassured on a regular basis,
and in various ways, that while at times we may disagree with some of their
actions, we would never withdraw our love for them.
of Rabbi Yaakov Lieder and posted 1-6-04 on kidsgrowth.com
As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as
medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your childs pediatrician.
Please read our full disclaimer.