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    #855 - 01/21/06 09:52 AM perfectionism
    deeyana Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/17/06
    Posts: 27
    How can parent's and teachers help childern deal with the set-backs of perfectionism.

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    #856 - 01/21/06 11:51 PM Re: perfectionism
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    This is a big question. Can you be more specific with your exact situation? I know it can be really frustrating, as a parent. I try to make my mistakes public to the kids who are watching and model how I can learn from or benifit from them and kindness to myself.
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #857 - 01/22/06 04:08 AM Re: perfectionism
    deeyana Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/17/06
    Posts: 27
    My son has always struggled with perfectionism. But this year has been very difficult.His teacher compairs him with another student(teacher's pet).
    She tells him things like"look at chriss's drawing.look at chriss's writing.This is the way your drawing and writing should look"
    He is soooo afraid of making a mistake.And he really beats himself up.Two weeks ago, The School finally agreed to change his class.But his prefectionism issue has not changed.
    I point out my mistakes and other's all the time.

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    #858 - 01/23/06 02:48 AM Re: perfectionism
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    First: Welcome Home
    Second: Good work in getting your son away from that situation!
    Third: More questions - (If you are willing -wink)

    How old is your son? What are incentives for him? Is he bribable? What are his favorite interests? Does he have an academic life outside of school? What books have you read on the subject? Is the school going to accelerate him or is the class change a lateral move? Is he already accelerated? Overall, is his school a good fit academically? Does he participate in a school,summer,or saturday program where he gets to be with age-mates who are also peers? Has he been tested enough that you pretty much know what you are dealing with? When (if) you do academic work with him at home, how many grade levels above his current placement is it? How long has the perfectionism been an issue? Has it also been an issue for you or for DS's other parent? Whats DS's personality like in general? Friendships? When you "point out mistakes," how much charity is in you spirit? If I were in your shoes I would have a lot of emotional processing to do regarding the current teacher - what/who are your resources to do this (if in fact we are similar in this way.) Does you son have any interests/activites where he is less affected by the perfectionism? Is he also highly sensitive? How does he view his gifts? Can you harness spirituality to help here? (Journey over distination) Does your family/community have Male Role Model who have created their own goals or is it pretty much, use one's smarts to follow the "conventional wisdom" about how to suceed? (books: Smart Boys, A whole New Mind)

    If you can bear to spill the beans, I'll try hard to round up some parental experience. You may not be able to change the world, but you can sometimes win by changing your perspective!
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #859 - 01/23/06 11:27 PM Re: perfectionism
    deeyana Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/17/06
    Posts: 27
    My son is only six years old.Punishments and bribary once worked,but not any more.His interest are reading ,math,iceskating likes to collect things.He had prefectionism issues since the age of two.I didnt think there were books on perfectionism for childern so young. Besides i thought he would grow out of it.He attends arabic weekend school with a class of childern between the ages of 6-8.He loves it.
    He has never been tested. infact I really dont know if he is gifted.The school does not want to test him and giving me alot of BS.They think I should spank him instead.They think that by sending him home numerous of times,he may learn a lesson.
    At the begining of this year he would pick and choose what to participate in.Now its all day refusal in every subject at school.He is completly withdrawn at school.However in arabic school and at home he is motivated and doing wonderfull.Yes I am having alot of emtional processing with him, and the whole entire school.
    I understand that he may not be gifted. infact I hope this is something he'll grow out of and hopefully soon.This is too much drama for me to handle.But his behavior in class is not getting better. Now if this child is bored in class and would have to repeat the year again, things are going to get really...bad!!!!!!!!!
    The reason that I joined this forum is because I think that it is possible that he is, and maybe by communicating with other parent I could have a better idea of why he behaves this way in school.Ok I understand that he is bored, he knows all the anwers.Why not get it over with and do it?
    Personality:cleaver, private,quiet, fearless of people or punishments,hides emotions very well,wants to be in controll of unwanting surroundings or interest.needs to be spoken to with respect,brief to the point,determined, perfectionist,shy in a sense which may sometimes be seen as rude.sweet ,jokefull, very......... honest,happy.Test people to see what he can get away with,does not like distractions,thrives on complaments.uhhhhhhhI think thats all? confused

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    #860 - 01/24/06 05:40 AM Re: perfectionism
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Well done. Welcome home. Are you in public school or private? If in public, please put in writing that you are concerned that he may have a disability and formally request he be tested - that worked in my state anyway. 6 is old enough to be tested, but if the school does it then they may believe it. If the school won't test, the cheapest way into it is the regional talent searches. Alternatives are homeschooling or afterschooling. Will your son sit down with you and show you what he can do with a Math book or website?

    "All day long refusal in every subject" is bad, very bad. Are you in a position where you can just show up at school and calmly refuse to leave until you speak to the principle? I bring a book and box of kleenex.

    If money is avalible for testing post to see where you should go - if your son can do school work 2 or 3 grades above his agemates, he may well be highly gifted, which takes experienced testers to properly access.

    I am so sorry for your situation...
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #861 - 01/24/06 06:41 AM Re: perfectionism
    momof one Offline
    New Member

    Registered: 01/24/06
    Posts: 1
    A book that was helpful to us is: Freeing Our Families from Perfectionism by Thomas S. Greenspon (Paperback - December 2001).

    My daughter's exhibition of boredom was placing her head on the desk and being tired. This made her appear less negative but it was difficult to deal with. She simply shuts down. She is most definitely gifted.

    The perfectionism came up elsewhere. I was really shocked when the book was reccommended to me because I do not see myself as a perfectionist; why family? It does a good job of explaining some thought processes and I certainly found myself nodding my head and learning some copint/parenting stragegies.

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    #862 - 01/24/06 06:48 AM Re: perfectionism
    Yes another mom Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/24/06
    Posts: 2
    > Ok I understand that he is bored, he knows all the anwers.Why not get it over with and do it?

    I used to say the same to our son. Then in time, it hit me that if I went somewhere every day and was asked to do elementary (for me) things each and every day, I'd finally pitch a fit, too. Picture YOURSELF being sent back to K and being asked to write the way Chris does and create art that looks like Chris's.

    Have you given any thought to homeschooling? I am a HUGE advocate of this method no matter what the child's IQ, but especially in cases where a kid is in school and not learning nor having fun. My guess is your kid hasn't murdered anyone or committed any other felonies, so I don't think he should be forced to be in an institution he doesn't wish to be in, saying there is another option (and perhaps there isn't as I don't know your situation).

    And if he stays at this school, might I suggest taking in a Picasso from his cubic period and showing it to the teacher and asking if it looks like the art Chris is producing. Odds are most teachers before Picasso's work became famous would have been horrified at such work...what a fragmented mind, this child must be sent for counseling, blah, blah, blah. Then ask her if Stephen King and JK Rowlings have the same style. Note that authors all have their own style, just as all artists who actually make a name for themselves do, and to try to mimic anyone else's work will make you but one thing - a copier. We have Xerox machines for that.

    As for perfectionism, I first spotted this in our son when he was learning to write...he would make a mistake and keep erasing and erasing and I took the paper and crumbled it up and threw it in the trash. shocked Call me Mommy Dearest, but I said to him, "Look, with all the time you've spent trying to make something PERFECT, you could have produced a number of things that would have been good enough and you will find that in most, but not all, things in life, good enough is by definition good enough and the more good you have, the better, and you'll have less good if you concentrate on perfection. The thing you need to develop is the skill in deciding whether something truly deserves perfection or if a few flaws will do just fine. When your mom tosses your paper in the trash for spending too much time trying to be perfect, it's a sign that you had an error in judgment that time. But thankfully, there is always next time." I never had to throw a paper in the trash again, and his work went on to be "perfectly" fine (at 13, he graduated from college with two degrees; he never got anything less than an A in any class involving writing).

    Perfectionism is a dangerous thing, as people can feel they are worthless (especially during the teen years, it seems) if they feel they aren't measuring up to expectations, their own or those of others, and some resort to drastic measures which can't be reversed. A guy I dated while in college (he was a graduate student) stole cyanide from the lab and killed himself and to this day, my guess is that it was for fear of getting a B in one of his classes (others might guess it was me, but I had only dated him a few times and our first date was only 3 weeks prior to his death and I doubt I am quite that deadly...it's not like I ever crumbled any of this guy's papers and threw them in the trash!). I've never even told our son to do the "best he can do" as frankly, I doubt he'll often need to do that and also that he'll be more productive *and* happier if he does a bunch of things well rather than try to do one thing eminently, though we do know eminent people who do many things well and if people have the drive for that, more power to them, so long as they stay mentally stable. Despite my raising our son this way, he has a mind of his own and still aspires to someday do something eminently well, but hopefully, he'll cut himself some slack if he wakes up someday and realizes the odds are greatly stacked against him (including my having parents who don't care if he ever become eminent).

    Good luck to you and your son, whatever you do.

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    #863 - 01/24/06 06:49 AM Re: perfectionism
    Yes another mom Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/24/06
    Posts: 2
    Ha, and to show my lack of perfectionism, my "name" was meant to be "Yet another mom"! Oh well!

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    #864 - 01/24/06 10:39 AM Re: perfectionism
    sednamom Offline
    New Member

    Registered: 01/24/06
    Posts: 1
    You know, my son was really displaying perfectionist tendencies early on, before a year even. He is almost 6 now, and we are home schooling, but one thing I have really learned to focus on with him is not being perfect or producing a "perfect product" but rather "Give it your best. The best you have right now, and realize that "perfect" is not the goal".

    In my search for peace with perfectionism flylady.net really points out how perfectionism has taken over much of our lives.....

    Anyhow, my son, who sooooo many things come sooooo easy for him and he rarely struggles with anything just started violin and was frustrated that things aren't "perfect". This had been a great time to reiterate "Give this your best, the best you have right now...attitude means so much more than a perfect product".

    I have to echo the comments though about asking him to attend to things that are way below him. I couldn't imagine asking my son to sit in a kindergarten class, as he is in no way anywhere near kindergarten level, not handwriting, reading, social skills, and definitely not math! It would be degrading to him to even suggest it, but his age is that of a kindergartner. We chose to home school, and I couldn't imagine a better situation for us, but it may not be for everyone. Have your son tested, learn all you can about his strengths, weaknesses, abilites, learning styles, then develop a plan of action to best meet his individual academic and social needs. If this teacher and this school don't meet that, then explore your options. Mostly, follow your gut. Give it the best you have right now, and feel good about it! smile

    My 2 cents.

    L

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