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    #865 - 01/24/06 12:03 PM Re: perfectionism
    New in IL Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/24/06
    Posts: 11
    Loc: Illinois
    My perfectionist is now 12. When she was a preschooler I signed her up for piano - something I knew it would take years to be really good at. Here was something that you could only do successfully with lots of practice, and furthermore, it was okay to do it "good enough" (of course it was important to find a piano teacher who was not going to demand perfection. We don't do recitals or competitions. We just play and learn music theory.) This also taught her empathy - this was what it felt like for other kids when they were learning how to read, or add, or whatever.

    I also signed her up for soccer. I figured a team sport was an opportunity to run around, but alone you could not succeed. And you being perfect does not drive the perfect outcome.

    We also celebrate Bs (okay, not very often) but when they come home we have a party - finally an area where she has an opportunity to learn something.

    Discipline is another area to be careful with - she is far harder on herself than I would ever be. When she has crossed a line, I gently call her on it and then back away. After a short time I invariably have to encourage her to forgive herself and move on - she will otherwise stew on the point forever!

    The most interesting thing to me was to learn what the results of perfectionism are in an older child (or even an adult.) Procrastination, not applying yourself and giving up. These are traits not easily overcome as an adult - they are worth getting after in our youngsters.

    A child cannot learn to overcome perfectionism in an environment in which he is can be effortlessly perfect. He needs a challenging environment to begin with. Then he needs plenty of encouragement to take a risk and try something he may not quite understand. And then lots of applause for the babysteps he takes while he figures it out.

    Good luck - it is hard work, but it is so important.

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    #866 - 01/24/06 09:56 PM Re: perfectionism
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    I asked DS9 to speculate on an alternate reality where a mom like me pays money for every "B" on the child's report card - when he was 7. He was horrified. (I would not have even suggested this if I had realised how misplaced he was in his classroom.) It did stop him agitating for money for "A"s. The point at the time was that I wanted him to stop pouring all his energy into the schoolwork and spend "some" on being a good classroom citizen. Part of what fueled his perfectionism at the time was that he was placed in a situation where he could not possibly get 100% all the time due to the work being "too easy" to muster attention onto. Plus the teacher was looking for the "next appropriate developmental step" which has never fit DS9.
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #867 - 01/26/06 12:02 AM Re: perfectionism
    deeyana Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/17/06
    Posts: 27
    Thank you all for sharing with me all this great information on perfectionism.
    I use to have alot of faith for public education.But now I find myself questioning their
    judgement.I've considered homeschooling and left it as an open option.I'm looking into other schools in my area ,and in the process trying to get my son an IEP ( one way or another).I can not take him out of a school environment untill I know what I'm up agaist.

    (Trinity) My son reads 3rd grade level books,in one day completed all second grade games on math website. He picks up math very fast.My son has been ready for 3rd grade math,But I havent let him move on.He just picks it up too fast and I fear he may forget what he's already learned.
    A few months ago I secretly video taped him working at home and turned it in to the school psycholoist.She has not gotten back to me yet!

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    #868 - 01/26/06 12:20 AM Re: perfectionism
    deeyana Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/17/06
    Posts: 27
    What was this teacher looking into as the next developmental step? OH,I know how ignorant some teacher's can be!

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    #869 - 01/26/06 01:39 AM Re: perfectionism
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Deeyana - I'm so glad you're finding your time here useful. I don't mean to blame any teacher, there's an old expression: "When you hear hoof beat, don't think: Zebra!" which has stood me in good stead many times - except regarding my own son! LOL!

    You may find it interesting to know that my own personal definition of gifted is - thriving on learning material that is one year ahead of that which is appropriate for their age mates. Highly or Profoundly gifted Zebras thrive on material 2, 3 or more ahead of their agemates. It's not a perfect definition because it can leave out twice exceptional kids and one's (like myself) who are highly creative or have gifts that aren't valued in this moment of society. But if it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, and acts like a duck - be prepared to feed it duck chow!

    In your case duck chow is math and reading and collecting. So feed your sweet little duck - he needs all the support he can get right now, and your offering him 3rd grade math will signal to him that at his Mom, at least understands him. Keep making thoses videos.

    Your son may "forget" what he has learned so quickly, but this doesn't worry me at all. I had forgotten most of my 4th grade level math, but I relearned it again very quickly. I hesitated for the longest time in afterschooling for fear of making the classroom experience even worse - I think that was a mistake. I hadn't fully grasped that my kid was a Zebra, and that it wasn't something that I had somehow "caused."

    These Zebra kids need to learn new things, with an intensity that is difficult to overestimate. My son recently told me that the reason he was so poorly behaved in 2nd grade was that every second he was hoping to learn something new, and I know how hard it is to sit still when I'm waiting for something fantastic to happen and how cranky I get when I keep getting dissapointed over and over. He reports that now he is well behaved because he know what to expect at school (that is, hardly ever learning anything new!)

    Anyway, these Zebra kids learn in their own ways - some learn Calculus before they memorize their Multiplication Tables. One of the best things about participating in the Davidson Young Scholars Program, for me, is that I am starting to get an appreciation for normal Zebra behavior.

    Have you started to apply to the Young Scholar's program? If not I reccomend you do. Here's a link that says more about protfolio applications http://www.ditdservices.org/Articles.aspx?ArticleID=71&NavID=0_34
    Which brings me around to the question of testing. What are the current barriers to you having your son tested? What are the pros and cons, for you, in waiting for the school to do the testing? This is a key area to but your mind on, so please write back and let us know what your personal situation is like. I have ideas for every circumstance (you may have noticed LOL)

    One more little idea - you mentioned that your son like collections. That's excellent! You may find a way in to his confidence by attending with him some "Adult" or "All Age" groups that focus on his favorite collection. Locally we have reptile hobbyist, geological hobbyists, and coin hobbyists who have meeting about once a month.Any time you can get your son into a all-age group of like minded people you provide him with hope for the future and "duck chow."

    These Zebra kids can be tough to raise - one of my girlfriends reminds me that "tough to raise kids" grow up into some of the most interesting adults. (I repeat this to myself - often!)

    (((hugs)))) Trinity

    laugh
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #870 - 01/27/06 10:02 AM Re: perfectionism
    sdbuddy Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/06/06
    Posts: 6
    Loc: Reno, NV
    I have struggled with perfectionism all my life and also see it in my daughter, a young nine year old 5th grader. After skipping third grade and homeschooling for fourth, she is in a very rigorous prep school and doing great. She is challenged for the first time ever in school. I have seen both sides of her perfectionism: being bored and will not try and now, striving to be absolutely perfect at everything. She brought home a unit exam, 110 questions on the history of the conquest of the Inca and Mayan Indians by Spanish explorers. She missed 2 questions, had an A+ and the highest grade by 15 points, but can only focus on what she missed!

    I agree that modeling our own mistakes is a great stratagey. I also find that celebrating hard work for its own reward is very important, not focusing soley on the outcome. I never ask about test grades anymore, I try to ask something like "was you preparation adequate, or do we need to find another approach". I see the grades when she brings them home on Friday. This seems to have helped a bit lately, at least!

    My perfectionism is different, but the roots are the same!

    I second the recommendation about the Young Scholars program. It has changed our lives!

    Susan in Reno
    _________________________
    Susan from Reno

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    #871 - 02/02/06 01:37 AM Re: perfectionism
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Deeyana -
    I hope today is a good day in your family. My son, although often a lot of fun to be around, has been going through a bad patch where all the adults around him want to "give him a good shaking" self-included, sorry to say.

    I started in on myself with "where did I go wrong," and then reminded myself of the topic here: perfectionism. My goal is to be the perfect parent - and leave the outcome in Other Hands. Guess What? I'm not perfect. I have to find a way to live with that - Yuck.

    Meanwhile I'm afraid to check my email for fear it's another Adult in DS's life complaining about his behavior.

    Meanwhile I looked up this link to Deborah Ruff's "Levels of Giftedness" http://www.dirhody.com/discanner/levels.htm
    and tried to recognise my son from is babysteps. I remembered that you are still waiting for testing to confirm that your DS is even gifted. perhaps this link will help you get an idea of "what kind of Zebra" you've got. It helped me understand why, even with other gifted kids, doing enriched material, my son is bored and acting out.

    Still not spanking - Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #872 - 02/02/06 05:50 AM Re: perfectionism
    deeyana Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/17/06
    Posts: 27
    Thank you sooooo muchy Trinity, I am very greatfull.this is exactly what I need to figure out.

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    #873 - 02/03/06 02:26 AM Re: perfectionism
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Deeyana - smile Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #874 - 03/24/06 05:42 AM Re: perfectionism
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Hi Deeyana -
    I'm thinking of your DS6. I hope he is thriving and that all is well in your life.

    DS9 is having his ups and downs. He's trying to figure out how not to let a kid who seems intent on upsetting him "get to him." I'm trying to frame it as a "good challenge." We'll see.

    Love and More Love
    (It seems that this is what's needed)
    Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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