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Advice on my little perfectonist

Posted by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 10:12 AM
  • 7 Replies
I am looking at our new curriculum and I realized that, for the first time, it is something that will actually challenge my DS. I am a little scared because he is a perfectionist, hates to be told he is wrong, and will meltdown if I push too hard. He is K age, but will be doing first grade work (he is ready....he is bored with K stuff and literally right 100% of the time and reading well above K level) do walk the fine line so I don't push too hard and cause him to hate school time?
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by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 10:12 AM
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by Sonja on Nov. 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Well, the first thing you will have to do is just start doing the lessons. His reactions will let you know how much or how little to push.  You just play it by ear. You might also want to sit him down and talk about how he might feel as he goes through each lesson and what ways are appropriate to react.  he should know that he might not get it right the first time or 2 around but that if he keeps at it, he will get it.  Your job then is to keep re-inforcing the positives and keep encouraging him.   Just thought I would mention that I have a child that was/is the same way.  She was always having a meltdown if she didn't achieve perfectionism. Thankfully she has graduated now and realizes that life and perfectionism are just one's personal perception. It is what you believe perfectionism to be.

Anyway, I think you will do just fine. If you need some ideas or anything, well, just pop right in and ask away. :)  



by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 4:26 PM

My eldest has Aspergers, so he gets very upset when he gets something wrong. We just gently guide him through it. I actually took on learning something new myself, so he could see by example. But, we like wrong answers more that right ones - as it gives us a direction to go in with our learning. So, we've been teaching him to celebrate his mistakes by re-doing the exact same question/worksheet after relearning whatever and making a big deal out of how far he came in so short a time! Good luck! Just remember every child is different, with their own set of challenges. The only way to find what WILL work for you both is to experiment with a bunch that did Not work! HUGS!

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by on Nov. 17, 2012 at 7:55 PM

I agree with Kickbut and kirby... at this age learning is about feeding the hunger without overwhelming the student... feed him a little... encourage discovery.... and correct when he is wrong gently and guide him to the correct answer so that either he sees it before you get to the correct answer for himself or in such a way that he can find it himself :) 

Happy Homeschooling!

by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 6:59 AM

I have one like that. He is an analytical personality.  These personalities typically get angry at themselves if they don't get it right.  One day he was having trouble grasping something, and began crying, and saying, "I wish I were dead.".  If I hadn't  taken time to understand his personality, I would have simply thought he was being overly  dramatic.

I hugged him for a moment in silence, and then said, " I know.....sometimes you are too hard on yourself.".  I continued, "would you want me to die if I made a mistake?"  He stopped crying, and said "no".  He was then calm, and ready to continue.  It takes time to teach them they do not have to always be right.  

More information at this link: Understanding the Analytical Child

by Gold Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I have a 1st grader like this.  I just explain her that she isn't going to everything right 100% of the time.  Eveyone is bound to make mistakes.  I just relate it to something that she enjoys doing where she does make mistakes.  For her it is artistic skating, and she falls and falls while learning a new stunt.  I just get her to understand that w/o those mistakes she wouldn't be able to figure out what she was doing wrong and figure out how to make it better.  I relate her wrong answers with her classwork, explain what she did wrong and how to fix it.  She still gets down on herself, but when she brings it back for me to look at again and gets it right her face lights up.  You have to figure out how to best approach the situation with him to get him over this particular issue with himself.  The best of luck to you.

by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

First you need to show him that getting things wrong is ok.  He refused to color until I started coloring outside the lines a little.  He would break down in tears if he got something wrong.  I started getting math problems wrong so he would know it was ok.  We have a saying around here, well actually two sayings.  "Attitude is everything" and "practice makes progress"  I have little talks with him about how perfection is unattainable.  We can attain it.  We can only practice and do better a little each day.  He is 10 now and is telling his younger brother the same things I have told him while he was young.  Another thing is to give him choices in school.  Have multiple options available so he can decide how much he should do.  I also never push my children but I do encourage them all the time.  If he tired of doing something we finish a section and then move on to something else.  In kindergarten, it is important to follow their lead.  Children are programmed for two things.  Learning and playing and many times those things happen at the same time.  I also tell my sons stories from my childhood especially mistakes that I have made and what I have learned from them.  They love my stories.  Make sure you are praising hard work over accomplishment.  Let him know that is more important how hard you work over how well you do.

by Platinum Member on Nov. 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM
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It's better that he learn how to handle difficulties now while he is young. It's hard to watch but you don't want him to discover that he isn't going to always be right when he's 12. LOL

My kids all go through phases of perfectionism and I just try to guide them gently, but firmly through the tough spots. Life isn't about how good you look at the finish line, it's how graceful you looked getting there. LOL

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