Hiding Mr. Perfect – Perfectionism in Young Children


The other night my young daughter exclaimed as she remembered the man we had hidden in her bedroom.  We had forgotten about him!  A few months back I had attempted the NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Challenge, scribing for my daughter.  The beginning part of the elementary workbook contained a page where the child was supposed to draw a picture of her Inner Editor.  This was to help the child focus on writing content instead of making sure each sentence was perfectly crafted in the first draft.

My daughter was only 5 and wasn’t going to be writing her story herself anyway.  As I read that page, I had a little light bulb moment.  Instead of calling the guy her Inner Editor, we called him Mr. Perfect.  We talked about how this guy goes around trying to make sure everything is perfect.  Once he was drawn, my daughter cut him out and we hid him under her mattress.  We talked about how it was okay if things weren’t perfect because Mr. Perfect was hiding.

And you know, that really seem to help.  For a little while during times of frustration because something wasn’t perfect, we talked about Mr. Perfect hiding away and that it was okay if something wasn’t perfect.  Then we forgot about the guy.  At least until the other night.  I went to find him and he was still there hidden beneath her mattress and beneath her mattress is where he will stay!


  1. What a fantastic idea! My 5 year old’s perfectionism sometimes really hinders her ability to progress. We’ll be trying this!

  2. Both of my kids are perfectionists and it does cripple creativity at times. I love this idea! They’re older, so we may have to change it up a bit, but I think we will do this. Thank you for sharing it!

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