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? about a perfectionist child

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Hi! I am new here :) I really love this group - I have learned so much so far. 28 more days of public school for my daughters and then I will homeschool them. I am very excited and nervous but more importantly I am content with my decision. I am working on the organizational aspect of homeschool because I am not an organized person. I would appreciate any tips anyone may have. Another issue that I am having right now is how upset my 7 year old becomes when she can't do something completely right the 1st time. If a test or worksheet from school doesn't have an 100% on it she gets upset. If she tries to sing a song and says the wrong word she gets upset. She retreats to her room and pouts and cries. It breaks my heart. I don't tell her she needs to have perfect or even good grades, I just tell her to try her best. She is just naturally hard on herself and has more of a pessimistic attitude. So, when we start homeschooling how should I respond to her work? Do I give grades? I want her to enjoy learning and not think she should be the best. Will she outgrow this since she is not "competing" with classmates? Thanks for any advice :)

by on Apr. 24, 2013 at 7:12 PM
Replies (11-15):
wendythewriter
by Helping Hands on Apr. 25, 2013 at 5:39 PM

I probably wasn't clear enough. Rough morning.

My point was that you said you weren't sure if not grading was helpful or not and that she had to learn we're not perfect (paraphrasing) - and that I agree she has to learn that, but basically saying that I don't think having grades would help her learn that. Grades are something we only get in school - nowhere in real life do we use a grading system like that to teach people they aren't perfect and will make mistakes. So to me, using grades to try to do that isn't necessarily going to help her. Especially if she's a perfectionist, giving her grades to try to teach her that may cause more problems down the road when someone isn't going to give her a grade but instead just say "Redo this. It isn't right."

*sigh* I still may not be making the point I want to make. I can't seem to put my thoughts together in any logical way. I think I need a nap.

Regardless, wasn't trying to start a fight or anything. :D


Quoting celticdragon77:

Im not sure that I understand what you were doing here, or if what you did was in discussion with me. It seems to repeat what I said (in your own words), but it's all good.
stefpop
by Testing the waters on Apr. 25, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Thanks everybody! I understand everything that is being shared here and I really appreciate it. I am not going to give her grades but rather focus on areas that need help and give lots of praise for trying her best. I understand that being a perfectionist is probably a personality trait and I don't want to change her - I just want her to enjoy learning and be happy :)

celticdragon77
by on Apr. 25, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Oh, sorry, I went back and reread what I wrote. I kind of contradicted myself there.

I didnt mean that grades persay would be good. That is why I then added that I personally do not use grades, and listed some other positive reinforcements that our family uses instead of grades.

I believe it is important to show progress and learning. To encourage good habits and character. To reward hard work. However, it is up to each family to define a way of doing these things.

I didnt want to flat out shoot down the grades ideas, but I personally do not use that method. With homeschooling there are far superior methods, imo. 

I agree with everything you said in response to my comment btw.  

Quoting wendythewriter:

I probably wasn't clear enough. Rough morning.

My point was that you said you weren't sure if not grading was helpful or not and that she had to learn we're not perfect (paraphrasing) - and that I agree she has to learn that, but basically saying that I don't think having grades would help her learn that. Grades are something we only get in school - nowhere in real life do we use a grading system like that to teach people they aren't perfect and will make mistakes. So to me, using grades to try to do that isn't necessarily going to help her. Especially if she's a perfectionist, giving her grades to try to teach her that may cause more problems down the road when someone isn't going to give her a grade but instead just say "Redo this. It isn't right."

*sigh* I still may not be making the point I want to make. I can't seem to put my thoughts together in any logical way. I think I need a nap.

Regardless, wasn't trying to start a fight or anything. :D


Quoting celticdragon77:

Im not sure that I understand what you were doing here, or if what you did was in discussion with me. It seems to repeat what I said (in your own words), but it's all good.


Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... - Emerson  

jen2150
by Helping Hands on Apr. 27, 2013 at 8:17 AM
1 mom liked this

I have a perfectionist.  First you need to make mistakes.  Let them know that mistakes are ok.  When my son was little he refused to color.  As it turns out he how well I colored and he couldn't do it as well so he didn't want to color.  I had to color outside the lines so that he could learn it was ok to color outside the lines.  I would drop the grades if you are comfortable with that.  Grades are for schools to keep track of a students progress.  I don't need them to keep track.  I have a very good idea where they at.  Also there are ways other than grades to help a child learn to accept themselves.  Just keep encouraging them and letting them know hard work is more important than how well you do.  I also repeat to them that practice makes progress.  I never use perfect.  Encourage them to try new and different things.  Model trying new things as well.  I would choose a life skill each month to work on.  Life skills such as determination, loyality, goal setting are great ones.  Read stories about people who made mistakes and how they handled it.  Point out the mistakes of great people in history.  Let them know everyone makes mistakes.  Find quotes and put them up on the wall.  It will improve with time.  My son is 10 now and much more accepting of his mistakes and those of others.  He is still a perfectionist.  He is just more balanced than he used to be.  When in balance it can be helpful to be a perfectionist.  A lot of great scientist were perfectionists.  Just help him or her to remember to accept their faults and never bring themselves down by negative thoughts.  Negative thoughts will kill a person's inside faster than any outside sources.

stefpop
by Testing the waters on Apr. 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Great advice! Thanks so much, I appreciate it.

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