The need to be perfect , to make things that look exactly like the model is not an easy one to over come with some kids. My son is one of those kids. I have from a very early age said things like " Make it how you want." " Paint whatever you want." etc... but what he wanted was for it to be exactly what he imagined in his head. He has a natural tendency towards perfectionism and his meltdowns when things weren't perfect even made me question and put a pause of crafts for a while. I was worried all the creating was making it worse , so instead we did pretend play, but then his costumes needed to be perfect, or played ball outside and then the catch needed to be perfect... finally it was art that helped him conquer this need ( at least somewhat).
Since he was little he would grab my art books and we'd pour over the paintings and he learned early on what "Abstract" meant. He even would tell his teachers " I just want to draw abstract." when they'd ask him to draw something and he was afraid it wouldn't be perfect. No amount of coaxing for him to try would work until a few days ago when he reached for the art books again.
In the book we saw Klimt drawing a portrait of a woman and my 4 year old could see that the artist's rendition wasn't what he'd call "perfect." Something clicked. I asked him if he wanted to draw a picture of something. He wanted to draw fire trucks, so we grabbed his lunch box for him to use as a model. I was amazed by the change in him, my heart feels lighter and he's happy doing something quiet while I tend to his sister .
Does your child battle perfectionism?