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Luvbeingamom1979
Luvbeingamo... asks:
Q:

My kindergartener the perfectionist...

My son is 5 and from what all of the teachers say is a joy and pleasure to teach.  The school is so impressed with how 'bright' he is that they want to put him in the gifted program and have heard talks of even moving him to the first grade the thing that is holding EVERYTHING up is...my son is a perfectionist...so much to the fact that..well..let's look at a couple of scenarios:

Scenario 1: I received a call from the counselor at my son's school while I was at work and he relayed this incident: "My marker stopped working and I found out it had glue on it, so I raised my hand to tell the teacher and she told me to put it in the trash. Well when I got back to my desk I saw it messed up my work so I threw all of my rectangles in the trash and they told me to go to step 1" (a type of disciplinary program they have and I think is awesome!)...well now since he not only messed up his work, but he also has messed up him getting a 4 (perfect day) so he gets doubly upset and begins to cry, frustrated, ..you get the picture.

Scenario 2: While doing homework with my son and especially if its writing, he does move a bit slowly to ensure each letter is as perfect/accurately written as possible and if he messes up and you assist in helping him, he does NOT like it..you can tell by his facial expressions that he is not pleased with himself that he did not get it right...

What on earth can I do to eliminate the need for 'perfection' at such a young age??
In Topics: My gifted child
> 60 days ago

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Developmentalist
Development... writes:
Thanks for reaching out.  We've got many articles on Education.com on giftedness and perfectionism.  If you type in "perfectionism" in our search bar at the top and bottom of each page, you will find some good started articles.  You can also follow up with phone calls with some of the non-profits we work with like Davidson Institute for Gifted Children and the National Association of Gifted Children.

It's also important to help guide your child to understand the "bigger picture" regarding perfectionism:  true perfectionism contains trial and error, enjoying the process, role modeling as parents that it's okay to make mistakes, etc.

Good luck and again thanks for contacting us at Education.com!
> 60 days ago

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Boys Town National Hotline
Encouraging your children to do their best is always good.  Parents that are involved in their children's learning automatically encourage them to do their best when it comes to school, however when something new is being taught or mastered by a child, some frustration from your child does occur.   Your son is 5 years old, and is beginning to figure out the expectations of his teachers and his parents.  Most kids at this age, need encouragment, love, patience, and approval.  That is what kids do, they constantly seek their parents approval and want to do and be good.  They learn from early on that when they have a "good" behavior, they get rewarded with a hug, smiles and good words.  When kids have bad behaviors, they expect a different voice tone and perhaps a consequence as a result of their behavior.  Therefore, they learn that if they make a mistake, they may not get approval from you or their teacher.  

Continue to work with the school:  his teachers, the school psychologist, and principal and stay involved.  Are you able to volunteer your time in the classroom, so you can observe all of the expectations and rules that he does follow?  You can also help your son by pre-teaching him some skills:  self control when he becomes frustrated.   When he becomes frustrated, he can take a deep breath and tell himself in his head, that its not a 'big deal'.  He can always ask the teacher for help to solve the problem that he is facing.  At home, these skills that you teach him can also be used.  If he makes a mistake on his writing, reassure him that with practice he can get better.  Practice writing with him.  Get him a special notebook and he can keep his 'work' all together.  Some ideas are to copy his favorite book, write a short story, notes to grandparents, the alphabet, etc.  You can also teach him to laugh at himself.  This is sometimes hard to do.  So help him color a pictures of animals, make them different colors-laugh a little at how silly they look!  You will have fun spending time with your son, and he will have fun with you!  Also remember to praise your son when he does well.  If he dwells on his mistake, you can quickly redirect him to move on.

Keep in mind, that this is a new skill for your son to master and he can write better with time.  There may be some set backs, but try not to get too discouraged as a parent.  You are already teaching your son that you care about his learning and his success.  And lastly, if you continue to struggle with your sons behavior or the behavior increases, you can always talk to your pediatrician about your concerns.
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
> 60 days ago

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