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  1. #1
    Senior Member Evolved Epiphany's Avatar
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    Default A budding perfectionist??

    My son is six, and really struggles with handling his emotions if he makes a mistake. I am having a hard time knowing how to handle it. I am a pretty laid back mama and don't expect a lot from him. But it's to the point where he won't even try to answer something if he thinks he might be wrong with his answer. On brainpop for example, he likes to do the quizzes, but won't guess at answers to see if he is right. I have tried to explain to him that everyone makes mistakes, and point out mine to him often. I have also explained that even the smartest people don't know the answer to everything and that mistakes are how we learn. I am not sure if this is just a stage, or if this is just part of his personality that we need to continue to help him work through. Anyone have similar issues with your kiddos?

  2. Global Village Forum Post - Jul
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    I really think some of it is the age, starting around five or six. It is black and white thinking, that you are either right or WRONG and wrong is horrible. Or at least this is how it seemed with my kids. It gets better as they get older and can see the world with its shades of gray. I always try to emphasize that learning is not the same as knowing (thanks Ginny! for that response). My kids are still hard on themselves but being "wrong" is not the same level of catastrophe that it was at that age.
    Julie,
    home schooling two dds 17(still waters) and 10(force of nature)

  4. #3
    Senior Member Evolved Elly's Avatar
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    My nearly six year old is like that. Sometimes he seems to do better if I leave him alone to figure it out. This morning he melted down because he couldn't figure out twinkle twinkle little star on his dulcimer. He took is away and worked it out in another room.

    I think he has a bit of the "if I don't do it wrong I'm a failure" and also "someone hates me if they tell me I'm doing something wrong"

    I really really hope it's the age! I still try to model good responses and to tell him better ways to cope in the hope he'll eventually remember it!

    Elly
    Mum to one little man, 8

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epiphany View Post
    I am not sure if this is just a stage, or if this is just part of his personality that we need to continue to help him work through. Anyone have similar issues with your kiddos?
    I think it can be personality. My son is nine and is still like this. In some ways it has gotten worse. I am not hard on him at all...he is already too hard on himself. If he is not perfect or the best at something, he decides he is the worst. There is no middle ground for him. My daughter, also nine, is not like this.

    I have no answers for you but would like to subscribe to this thread to hear what others have done in this situation.
    Last edited by dbsam; 09-27-2013 at 10:41 PM. Reason: clarification

  6. #5
    Senior Member Evolved
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    My son went through this when he was six, too. We talked about it, helped him understand that everyone makes mistakes (check out a book called The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes), and came up with a saying to help him remember: "Not perfect, just Patrick."
    -Angela.

    Unschooling one son (7).

  7. #6
    Senior Member Evolved Elly's Avatar
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    It's probably worth looking at some of carol Dweck's work and seeing if there's anything you can apply from that.

    Elly
    Mum to one little man, 8

  8. #7

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    My 8yo son's perfectionism manifests mostly in the area of art or other creative endeavors. We've really struggled with completing any art project- at one moment he's doing great, I turn my head, and the next it is crumpled up in the garbage. He'll say he "messed up." I'm actively trying to come up with a plan to work on this, so I'll be watching this thread as well.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Evolved Epiphany's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Is good to know there are others out there struggling with the same thing and I will definitely take a look at some of those books. My mama tells me I had a streak of this as a kid, and I am definitely not a perfectionist these days. Only took me 39 years. hehe.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Evolved Elly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epiphany View Post
    Thanks for the replies. Is good to know there are others out there struggling with the same thing and I will definitely take a look at some of those books. My mama tells me I had a streak of this as a kid, and I am definitely not a perfectionist these days. Only took me 39 years. hehe.
    Yeah, I recognise this in myself, particularly the fixed mindset that Carol Dweck talks about. I see it in my nephew, too. I hope he learns faster than I did!

    Elly
    Mum to one little man, 8

  11. #10

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    I went through it a lot with my son when he was about that age. He is almost 11 and still throws a hissy fit when he doesn't do well on a project or assignment, or a drawing or writing a story. I try to remind him that trying his best is what matters. It doesn't always work, but I'm just going to continue to convey the message that it's what you do and the effort you put into it, that is more important than how well you do it.
    Wendy
    Mumsy to Gavin (13-year-old artsy boy) and Rowan (3-year-old disco queen)

    Sharing snarky thoughts about work & motherhood at inwhichmother.com.

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A budding perfectionist??