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    #9207 - 02/20/08 08:50 AM child gives up on challenging problems...
    pinkpanther Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/19/07
    Posts: 175
    Help! I sent my letter to the school today explaining how unhappy DD9 is at school and how we think the NNAT underestimated her ability (she's highly verbal). I emailed the teacher to give her a heads up on the situation and let her know what we're doing. The teacher has been very supportive of DD, but she mentioned that lately she's been giving DD9 Math Forum problems and DD is giving up on them if the answer doesn't come to her immediately. She is telling her teacher that she wants to take them home for help, but I have heard NOTHING about them. What's going on here? I want her to be challenged, but I don't want her to give up when it gets tough.

    DD has been sick for several days and didn't want to go back to school today, although we made her. She and I talked about school last night, and she said her teacher just gives her more work when she finishes. I specifically asked if she was being given harder work, and she said no. She has not mentioned extra problems at all.

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    #9213 - 02/20/08 09:08 AM Re: child gives up on challenging problems... [Re: pinkpanther]
    pinkpanther Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/19/07
    Posts: 175
    The teacher also said that DD is rushing through her work and not focusing. She's getting high grades, so I don't think she's being sloppy or careless. I'm really confused...

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    #9215 - 02/20/08 09:11 AM Re: child gives up on challenging problems... [Re: pinkpanther]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Is this the first time she's ever really been challenged? She may just not know what to do if something isn't easy for her.

    Also, it's not at all unusual for perfectionists to give up rather than to risk failure. Perhaps this is what's up? If she doesn't really try, then she can't get it wrong and then feel stupid. If your whole self-concept is centered around never being wrong, then being challenged is not just a little uncomfortable, it's a threat to your entire self-image!

    Regardless, as a recovering perfectionist who hates to be wrong and has a hard time if something doesn't come easily, I'd say she needs this challenge! Or one like it. And the sooner, the better!

    How do you plan to handle the situation?
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #9216 - 02/20/08 09:13 AM Re: child gives up on challenging problems... [Re: Kriston]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I love the old "rushing through her work and not focusing" but getting high grades. If she can get the grades without focusing, why should she?

    It's the path of least resistance, and it's human nature. That one is the teacher's problem in my estimation! Not your DD's!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #9218 - 02/20/08 09:19 AM Re: child gives up on challenging problems... [Re: Kriston]
    pinkpanther Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/19/07
    Posts: 175
    Kriston, I'm so glad you said that because it's exactly what I was thinking! This is definitely the first time DD has been challenged, and she probably needs support that she's not getting at school(not the teacher's fault since she's got 18 kids to deal with and several special ed kids). She's also a perfectionist, too.

    I'm not sure how we're going to handle it. I think we're going to ask that the teacher let us know when she gives the harder problems so that we can help her at home. I also need to talk to DD and let her know that it's okay to be a little challenged and that it's actually a good thing.

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    #9219 - 02/20/08 09:24 AM Re: child gives up on challenging problems... [Re: Kriston]
    OHGrandma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/05/08
    Posts: 830
    "Not focusing" hmmm, I wonder if the child is really "multi-tasking" and focusing on multiple things?

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    #9221 - 02/20/08 09:30 AM Re: child gives up on challenging problems... [Re: pinkpanther]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    Making a note of when you make mistakes--and that it's no big deal--is also a good idea. You want to drive home to her that she doesn't have to be perfect to be loved. She doesn't have to be perfect to be who she is.

    I know that by 9, I had already LONG AGO internalized that I had to be perfect to be worth anything. You want to work against that at every turn.

    I saw a presentation on perfectionism by one of the guys from SENG, and he recommended working with the teacher to assign a perfectionist to do the worst job she could possibly do on an assignment, to try to fail! He said that usually about the worst they can manage is a B, and they realize how truly difficult it is to fail, and they get over it a little bit.

    That struck me, because I know that I could not have done this when I was in school. It would have been virtually impossible for me to try to fail, especially the older I got. That tells me that I really needed something like that!

    Another thought: is she in a sport or taking music lessons that don't come easily for her? This is a good way to challenge a child and teach resiliance. Many here swear by music lessons!
    _________________________
    Kriston

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    #9243 - 02/20/08 12:41 PM Re: child gives up on challenging problems... [Re: Kriston]
    LMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/14/07
    Posts: 902
    Originally Posted By: Kriston

    Also, it's not at all unusual for perfectionists to give up rather than to risk failure. Perhaps this is what's up? If she doesn't really try, then she can't get it wrong and then feel stupid. If your whole self-concept is centered around never being wrong, then being challenged is not just a little uncomfortable, it's a threat to your entire self-image!

    Regardless, as a recovering perfectionist who hates to be wrong and has a hard time if something doesn't come easily, I'd say she needs this challenge! Or one like it. And the sooner, the better!


    My thoughts exactly including the part about me being perfectionist. Unfortunately DS5 is one too frown

    Have you read Freeing Our Families from Perfectionism by T. Greenspon?
    _________________________
    LMom

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    #9244 - 02/20/08 01:08 PM Re: child gives up on challenging problems... [Re: LMom]
    pinkpanther Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/19/07
    Posts: 175
    I feel a lot better after talking to DD's teacher. She agreed that it may be a perfectionist issue and also that DD might not know how to handle a challenge. She's going to give her a little more guidance. Overall, it was a nice conversation.

    No, I haven't read that book, but it sounds like a good one. Thanks for the tip.

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    #9245 - 02/20/08 01:32 PM Re: child gives up on challenging problems... [Re: pinkpanther]
    bianc850a Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/02/07
    Posts: 312
    Loc: California
    "The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."

    Anna Quindler

    Hi pinkpanther,

    Make sure the problems are just the right level of difficulty (hard enough to make her struggle a bit but not too hard so that eventually she will be able to solve). Praise her on the process (trying to solve the problem vs actually solving it).

    Remind her that some of the problems will be too hard and it is ok to ask for help. I keep reminding my dd that "hard" math problems excercise her brain so that every day she can do a bit more complex math.

    It has always helped to remind her that when she started TKD as a white belt there were a lot of things she could not do, but as she practiced she could do more difficult things, but even then, there are still things she needs to work on before she will be able to do them. I tell her that Math is the same. There are many things she can do today that she could not do last year and next year she will be able to do even more. You can use anything she has been working on for a while (music, sports, etc)

    Clarify to her that you do not expect her to know everything!!

    But the key thing you can do is to make sure the difficulty level is just right!!

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