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    Joined: Feb 2011
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    HK - that's excellent advice. The only aspect is the therapy part of 2e kids. Some kids do have to be in therapy regardless and they're not always going to like it.

    My 2e ds7.5 has had years of therapies, interventions. I don't think there's been one therapist (pt, ot, speech, feeding, vision, neurofeedback, water) who hasn't noticed the perfectionism in ds and commented upon it. The behavioral optometrist even mentioned in a report that ds likes to "have complete control over his environment." Well, that's it with perfectionists. I come from a family who is loaded with them.

    There are various gifted books which address the issue too - 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids, When Gifted Kids Don't have All the Answers, and even the older book, It's OK to be gifted and talented, which has some short stories for young kids. There's even a section in a book, You're Not the Boss of Me: Brat-proofing your 4- to 12-year-old, or various books on child defiance.

    You could also try picking up the bestseller, The Feeling Good Handbook, and try some behavioral cognitive therapy. I'm sure there are perfectionist/anxiety charts online that you could try too. These are things that I'm going to try with my ds.

    You can try messing up sessions and pointing out when you mess up.

    With this topic, I often think of the difference between Paul McCartney and John Lennon. McCartney, from what I've read, is a serious perfectionist. He insists on perfectionism and thinks it's achievable. Lennon, by comparison, wanted to be perfect but would bag things if he couldn't achieve it. He'd be a little more acceptable of a piece if it didn't come out perfect while McCartney would wobble and be beside himself.

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    Oh-- one more recommendation. With a particularly wily/socially intelligent perfectionist, they will resort to incredibly manipulative methods to continue the behavior or take it underground and lure parents (and other adults) to cooperate in this schema.

    The Manipulative Child. I know I've mentioned this book here before, but it pegged many of the feedback loops that my DD had established with us. Breaking those paradigms was really key to uncovering just how far down the perfectionism ran, and we had to do that before we could understand what to do about it, and where the boundaries are between the perfectionism and the rest of who/what DD is.

    (It's a bit akin to separating the addiction from an addict. Same phenomenon. You have to determine when it's the dysfunction talking, and when it's the person, and when it's some chimera of the two.)



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Thanks HK. I wasn't familiar with that book, but I'll be getting it.

    I agree with you on the addiction part and see it in my ds7.5. I think these kids can get obsessed with things and the perfectionist part seems to go hand and hand. I've seen a similar situation with ds7.5 when we started neurofeedback and flipped his diet and how much it affects him neurologically. And this only makes sense when you factor in that gifted kids, and particularly pg kids, have different neurological wiring.

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    My DS7 is like that. He hates to make the smallest of mistakes; even thinking he may make a mistake can paralyze him and make him refuse to do something. I have seen him even freeze up when he just gets answers slower than he think he should. *Sigh*

    I have tried to use sport examples, he isn't very good at sports but he loves them, so he has to work at them - unlike anything at school. I ask him what it took to learn to swim and to get where he is now (a pretty strong swimmer), or how he has had to work to play soccer or basketball.

    This winter I started training for a sprint triathlon and he wanted to join me so I signed him up for a Jr Triathlon (Swim 100 yards, bike 2 miles and run .25 miles - all of which he could do). I was THRILLED when he failed and yet completed the race (don't judge, everyone needs to fail occasionally, and it was good for him). He was worried about the swim because he hadn't swam in open water much and then a boy about 12, went into hysterics in front of him and held onto the buoy and wouldn't move. DS clung on too and I sure he was thinking if he is that scared I should be too. The hysterical boy was "rescued" first, as is only right. So DS was the last out of the water by a long shot. I was worried that he wouldn't want to continue, because he has been known to drop anything that becomes difficult, but he kept going and finished - dead last but he did it anyway. I am going to be using that example this year a lot.

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    How did he feel after he finished? It sounds like the kind of experience that would (paradoxically) make my DD feel pretty good about herself-- not right away, probably, but later after she'd processed it.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    He felt great, like he accomplished the impossible. He is so proud of his medal and wants to do more. Of course we praised his completion! And we talked about moving past set backs afterwards, and sticking to it as well.

    I think when he first got out of the water he was a bit scared to go on but we all rushed him to his bike and pushed him onward and by the time he finished he felt better about it. It also helped that the man who went out and got him was a regular competitor and told him that everyone freaks out in the water occasionally and told him about his own experiance and how he got past it. So he wasn't made to feel bad about it at the time.

    I think the best part about it is that when he is faced with something that seems impossible in the future he can look back and see what he accomplished. I am hoping that we will see a difference in some of his choices, only time will tell.

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    if you keep highlighting these successes, i bet he will! that story is awesome, btw. i'm going to use it with my kid, if that's ok?

    and just a small update on all this: the Unknown Unknown chart we made is taking root with DD5 already. i heard her shouting out Known Unknown just now... and there was no sound of door slamming to go with it, so i'm quite hopeful too, in this minute!

    ps - HK - i have ordered that book!


    Every Sunday it brooded and lay on the floor. Inconveniently close to the drawing-room door.
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    Of course! I hope it helps!

    He has told me a couple of times that he has to keep trying just like training. Which has been great. But we have a fairly lazy summer so I haven't been having him do any formal learning (we have learned all sorts of stuff but not sit down and do this worksheet type of work) so I am not sure how it will pan out in that type of situation. I have my fingers crossed!

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    then i will tell her about it tonight, thanks!

    and i forgot to mention - thanks for adding that tip about athletics in general - DD is quite serious about dance, and in that realm she is very happy to practice and refine - probably because that is the expectation in class. i'm going to work that angle for sure when dance is back in a few weeks!


    Every Sunday it brooded and lay on the floor. Inconveniently close to the drawing-room door.
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