I started this blog about Raccoon, but in many ways my stuff has taken over because I need an outlet. But this is an area we both share.
"Perfectionism is, fundamentally, an anxiety thing. It's anxiety that what you do won't be good enough or won't be seen as good enough and that either this will mean that you're an awful / incompetent / pathetic person and/or that other people will think you are and will hate / despise / punish / ignore / reject you for it." (quote by Aimee Yermish)
The above statement describes my predicament profoundly. But I would change the first part to say, "It's anxiety that what you ARE isn't good enough..." Unfortunately, somewhere along the way I invested my self-worth way too much in other people's opinions of me. I know that I need to re-center my security on who I am in Christ, and that He can get me out of my feeling worthless rut, but that's easier said than done.
I see Raccoon struggling with this issue as well, becoming frustrated when what he does isn't perfect. Raccoon is very observant, and being an only child, he lives in an adult-dominated world. He sees my husband and I doing most things effortlessly and perfectly the first time, and somehow he has internalized this and uses the same standard for himself. Not to mention that he also chooses impossible tasks (like trying to make towers out of balls). The more I intervene the worse the meltdown, but pretty much no approach lessens his frustration once he's in his "I'm going to make this work or die trying" mode.
I did see one piece of advice, I don't remember where, that said something like "Let your child see you make mistakes and model how to keep trying, redo, etc." I've been doing that, sometimes failing on purpose, and encouraging him to tell me to "keep trying." Slowly I am seeing some results. Tonight he was working on building a tower out of large legos (he called it a gas station) and it fell over several times. To my surprise, instead of melting down like he would have a month or even a week ago, he just picked it up and started over. I congratulated him on his patience and self-control. Not sure if those words compute, but I hope he felt the warmness in my voice. For him, it was an amazing accomplishment and I'm so proud of my son.