We want our kids to learn and pursue excellence. The line between excellence (what we’ll label as normal) and perfectionism and OCD is not easy to describe. In his book Hope for the Perfectionist, Dr. David A. Shoop offers a great comparison. Take a look:
Probably the easiest thing to notice first is the self-talk. Listen for should and shouldn’t statements and thinking patterns. That’ll be your first clue of perfectionism and/or OCD thinking. Warning: The should and shouldn’t thinking so often sound correct and right. In either case, when you hear should and shouldn’t statements, look deeper.
- Dr. David A. Shoop, Hope for the Perfectionist (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers), 59.