Free Spirit Publishing 1.800.735.7323

What to Do When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough

The Real Deal on Perfectionism: A Guide for Kids


Perfectionism may seem like a worthy goal, but it’s actually a burden. When you believe you must be perfect, you live in constant fear of making mistakes. Most children don’t know what perfectionism is, yet many suffer from it. Nothing they do is ever good enough. School assignments are hard to start or hand in. Relationships are challenging, and self-esteem is low. Written to and for ages nine to thirteen, this book helps kids understand how perfectionism hurts them and how to free themselves.

Includes true-to-life vignettes, exercises, and a note to grown-ups.

Part of Self-Help for Kids®
Free Spirit is the leading publisher of learning tools that support children’s social-emotional health.
Read More


Paperback $10.99 22343 Paperback 22343 $10.99
ISBN: 978-1-57542-234-3
Reading Level: Grade 5
Interest Level: Ages 9–13
Guided Reading Level: T
Lexile Measure: 890L
Illustrated: two-color, illust.
Trim Size: 5.375" x 8.375"
Page Count: 144
Lifting the Burden of Perfectionism in Children

For our kids, the competition to be at the top of the class in school, to make it into the best colleges, to have the best shot at prestigious careers, and to be outstanding in those careers is intense. Their A game must be brought to every encounter.

The anxiety attendant to all of this pressure is visible everywhere, and it’s one horn of a major dilemma: We worry that our children won’t make the grade, and we worry that the pressure to make the grade is too great. All of this creates a social context in which perfectionism—the desire to be perfect, plus the fear of imperfection—can blossom. How can we help our kids strive for excellence without seeming to demand perfection? To answer this question, it helps to understand what perfectionism is.

Continue reading on the Free Spirit Blog.
  • Common Core State Standards


Related Resources

Bright Complex Kids PLC / Book Study Guide
A field guide for understanding the social and emotional needs of gifted kids.
Help kids understand and manage anxiety to boost their mental health and well-being.
Say Hi When You're Shy
Struggle to Be Strong 2019
Put Your Worries Away
Fighting Invisible Tigers 2019
How to Take the ACHE Out of Mistakes
Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves Revised and Updated Edition

Free Spirit’s monthly e-newsletter, Upbeat News, is full of practical tips, free downloads, and special offers. Sign up today!