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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


The Perfect Child Syndrome


“My 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?’

This 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.”

There 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 cared 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.

In 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...

The 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.

All 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.


courtesy 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 child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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Condorcanqui had received a far more generous education than http://www.drcatalona.com/quest/quest_fall05_1.htm the majority of his fellows, and had studied at the college of san bernardo, in cuzco.


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