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Moving Past Perfect: How Perfectionism May Be Holding Back Your Kids (and You!) and What You Can Do About It Paperback – March 1, 2012

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Tom Greenspon has made a great contribution to the parenting and child development field with Moving Past Perfect. He describes perfectionism’s many faces and explains the many paths that lead there. More importantly, he provides solutions.”—Dr. David Walsh, author of Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids and Why Do They Act That Way?

Moving Past Perfect offers insight for families who struggle with perfectionism. One of the book’s gems lies in the clear distinction Dr. Greenspon makes between striving for excellence and perfectionism. Too often families convince themselves that their children’s perfectionistic tendencies are nothing to worry about since they are achieving so highly. Dr. Greenspon gently guides families into understanding that while striving for excellence may lead to high achievement, perfectionism actually inhibits performance.”—Kristie Speirs Neumeister, Ph.D., president of the Indiana Association for the Gifted and associate professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Ball State University

“Few people understand perfectionism better than Tom Greenspon, whose insight and clinical expertise come from years of case study. Moving Past Perfect provides readers with a very informed perspective on a very important matter. I encourage you to read this book and to keep it on your shelf for future reference.”—Dr. Tracy L. Cross, coauthor of Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talents, Jody and Layton Smith professor of psychology and gifted education, and executive director of the Center for Gifted Education, College of William and Mary

Moving Past Perfect is an eloquent and accessible description of the nature of perfectionism. I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to understand the nature of perfectionism and to anyone working to reduce perfectionistic tendencies.”  —Paul L. Hewitt, Ph.D., professor of psychology, University of British Columbia

Book Description

A friendly and enlightening guide helps parents move their kids—and their whole family—past harmful perfectionism


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing; Revised edition (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575423871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575423876
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Obviously, I had high hopes for this book, but it's not really all that useful. If you're into parenting books to the point that you're zeroing in on a book on perfectionism, chances are that you've already read books that conveyed the ideas expressed here. I found the ideas quite general (e.g. enthusiasm vs. praise, letting go of power struggles, empathy, emotional connection, etc), and not really geared toward perfectionism. I just read Madeline Levine's book, which was much broader, but gave a much better sense of what's going on with my kid even though it didn't focus on perfectionism.

Under the heading "the many wellsprings of perfectionism", he has: the dysfunctional family, neglect, too much praise, giftedness, different children/different reactions, and mutual influence. None of those comes close to my family's situation. He also dismisses biology outright. Now, I'm an cultural anthropologist, so I dislike biological explanations, but I wanted to see some discussion of dealing with innate behaviors, that aren't disorders (which he does discuss). He treats perfectionism as a general state of being -- there was nothing about kids who have INTENSE moments of frustration, which my kid (age six) has has always had. How should I react in the moment to him? How do I talk about it afterwards? How should I prepare him ahead of time? Questions not answered in this book. Really, my kid's perfections is about him, not his relationship to others or the society at large, which is more how Greenspon sees it.

Good luck with your kids, people. Let me know if you find a book that that you like!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved reading it. Many intriguing passages. Haven't tried them all out yet, but looking forward to doing so. Hopefully the intended will cooperate.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book
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