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Persnickety Polly: A Book and Game for Perfectionism

Persnickety Polly is a book and game about perfectionism

Persnickety Polly will not eat food that has been crushed.

Persnickety Polly is a short book and a game about perfectionism. Polly likes to have everything planned and perfect. However, one day nothing goes according to plan and she is having a terrible time coping with the challenges. She is challenged to work past the expectations that everything will fall into place, cope with disappointment, and move past a rigid mindset. As she is forced to accept things that she has no control over, she learns how to modify her thoughts and expectations to better cope with the unpredictable.

Polly loses control when her beautiful outfit is splashed with mud at recess.

In the end, Polly learns that her thoughts drive her emotions. As she challenges her thoughts and rescripts them, she feels better and can roll with the challenges of her day. She finds support from friends who can help her manage her problems and work past her rigid mindset.

The game helps children learn cognitive behavioral therapy skills, identify their own stuck points, and discover ways to be more flexible in their thinking. They can slowly push themselves past their comfort zones to better adapt to disappointment and change.

Game Topics:

  • Adults – This group of cards will help children identify support figures as well as ways adults might trigger anxiety and/or demand excellence.

  • Plans – Kids will discuss what it is like when things do not go according to plan, whether they like to plan out their schedule, and how to cope with transitions or changes.

  • Big Mess – Scenarios are introduced to help kids process how to handle messes and catastrophes that are part of life.

  • Less than Best – Disappointment is guaranteed in life. Kids will learn to come up with alternate plans and ways to cope with disappointment. This includes managing self-talk when they fail to meet their own expectations of themselves.

  • Stay Loose – These cards are to help children identify ways to have flexible thinking and learn to adapt to unexpected situations.

  • Rigid Thinking – Kids will identify the caveats of rigid thinking and the inability to adapt to alternate plans.

  • School Life – These cards will help children explore triggers and needs at school to better prepare for challenges.

  • Home Life – Kids will discuss challenges as well as support at home to help them cope.

Persnickety Polly is also availabel to play online for telehealth sessions.


Related Post:

A list of affordable cognitive behavioral therapy games


Kids will explore what ridged thinking looks like and how it can cause problems.

While many children struggle with perfectionism, the root cause might stem from different issues. Many times it is due to the child’s personality type. The melancholy personality type likes things to be organized, predictable, and consistent over time. They tend to struggle with last-minute changes and chaos. These children often do better when they are warned before a transition occurs and they enjoy plenty of time to finish a project before moving on to the next thing. In play, children with this personality type often spend their entire play time on the setup of play rather than acting things out.

Planning ahead can be a helpful life skill. However, adapting to changes is equally important.

Children who struggle due to their personality type can learn to cope with changes and make plans to address challenges they frequently face. Every personality type has its pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses. Children can prepare by making a coping plan, surrounding themselves with people who can support them, and offering healthy outlets outside of structured time to finish projects, organize their thoughts and belongings, and have quiet time if they have been overstimulated.

Perfectionism can also occur because of obsessive compulsive disorder. These children are driven by anxiety and are obsessive about thoughts, objects, or rituals to bring a sense of relief.

Treatment for OCD

Flexible thinking can help prevent meltdowns and feeling out of control.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be a successful treatment for OCD. Helping children identify their thoughts, beliefs, and responses will help them learn to challenge irrational thoughts, replace them with healthy thoughts, and to ultimately change the way they feel and behave.

Some children need help accepting less than best and not feeling defeated by it.

Exposure therapy and response prevention are key components in treating OCD to bring lasting change. Exposure therapy causes the child to purposefully face their fears and anxiety in a controlled, safe setting. They will feel compelled to engage in their obsessive behavior but will intentionally refrain from it. This will allow an opportunity to find new ways to cope while the urge to engage in obsessions will fade.


I Can't Unsee It is a book and game to help children process trauma

CBT for Children

Children will learn to cope with unexpected difficulties and disappointment.

While these skills are often used with adults, treating a child is quite different. Identifying self-talk, thought patterns, and obsessions, are abstract, difficult ideas for children to understand. Additionally, exposure therapy can be daunting and painful. That is why play matters! Toys, metaphors, games, and books are helpful tools in creating an environment for children to learn and understand complicated information.

adults can either offer support and comfort to children, or they may put unnecessary stress with unrealistic expectations.

These books and games are created to allow children to learn vital skills in small, bite-sized pieces that they can comprehend. The imagery and situations in the books allow children to relate to the characters and consider how their thought patterns led to a problem. They can then understand how modifying the thought patterns would lead to different outcomes.

Additionally, exposure to the problem can come in small incremental pieces as children move through the game and respond to the prompts. This helps children address the problem and feel a small spike of anxiety but not feel completely overwhelmed or out of control. The information gained from this resource can also be used for future sessions and interventions, as it will help identify specific situations, thoughts, or triggers causing the problems. In conclusion, this book and game is a go-to resource for perfectionism and OCD symptoms in children.


You can find the book/game here:




Related Resources:

an offordable story and game about perfectionism or for kids with ocd


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