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Frustrating! :(

Posted by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM
  • 13 Replies

So DD1 will be 4 in April...we do as much learning at home as I'm mentally capable of!

She knows stuff like letters, numbers (up to 20), shapes, colors, can cut (not quite in a straight line) with scissors, glues stuff well, enjoys painting, and is slowly learning how to write her name! Basically, the kindergarten stuff!

My issue is, getting ANY of this is difficult. We just sat down together to watch a Leapfrog movie about phonics to help her learn the sounds of the letters! I'll pause and we'll talk about what we just watched together, and she just yells "I DON'T KNOW!" so I'll give her the answer and we move on.

She does this when we do ANY learning activity, even if it's in a fun game form or a movie. You ask her something and she just says "I don't know", and gets upset with herself and cries and runs off and I ask her to come back, give her hugs, tell her I love her, etc etc. It's even worse if I ask her to sit down with a worksheet, or trace something. If it's not PERFECT, then she yells "I CAN'T DO IT!" and throws a fit so we just take a break so she can go play with her ponies, or bubbles, or whatever.

Is this normal? Any other mamas deal with this?Am I pushing this too hard? (We don't even do this every day, maybe twice a week?)  Is there anything I can do to help give her a little more persistance?

by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM
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by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 12:59 PM

My daughter, who will be 3 in April, pulls that "I don't know" stuff all the time. We tell her "Yes, you do." and ask again. 9 times out of 10 she will answer correctly. I think letting them get a little frustrated is a good thing. We always try and reinforce her trying again if she messes something up and gets mad or asking nicely for help. (She is a little perfectionist too)

by Platinum Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 1:23 PM

i would back off.  you don't want her fearful or stressed out about learning.  my kids don't like me to "school" them either.  i just always let it go.  i incorporate learning in our play but don't sit down with specific learning tools.  that's changed a bit for my Kinder cuz he has homework and such but anything extra is on his own terms.  he's at the top of his class so i'm fine with how his learning is progressing on his own terms.  he's a perfectionist too and in preschool he would only try something once he knew he could do it.  he's also cried many a time when a picture didn't turn out just right but we always focus on how hard he tried.  we also make a point of always asking him "are you proud of yourself?" when he accomplishes something.  he really looks for our approval so we try to turn that back on him.

my dd (3 1/2) plays the "I can't do it" card and I always just reply "try".  Then when she does it she screams "I DID IT!"  that pride of accomplishment is instrumental in them wanting to do more things independently so I don't help them until they really have tried and still need help.  even then, i do the least amount possible.

don't give your daughter the answers just to move ahead.  if she stops and is frustrated, take a break.  she's only 4, she'll get there!

by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 1:26 PM

My daughter just turned 4 and is a perfectionist.  She gets really upset when she thinks she can't do something. I just tell her to take a break and we'll try again later (with anything, not just learning). That break usually lets her calm herself down and then she will successfully do what she wanted to do and is so proud of herself lol.  We are currently practicing buttoning pants and getting the zipper together.

by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 1:29 PM

It sounds like something I was watching on the learning channel a few months ago. It was a documentary about toddlers and pre school children who are developing educational OCD. It showed parents who were very strict about their childrens learning abilities and parents who were loving and stress-free about learning and regardless their children became extremely OCD about their school/educational time. It is very hard to break them of it too. You are doing great by letting her know it is ok to "not know" or "understand" yet. It may just be something you and she will have to find and encourage that common ground where it is ok not to know everything and it will be tough for her to allow herself to feel ok not knowing. Good luck momma.

by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 6:15 PM

She sounds like she's feeling pressure to perform.  There is no rush.  Let the learning come naturally and try not to quiz her on it.  She will get enough of that when she starts school.  

by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 1:12 AM
My son behaves in a similar manner
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by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 5:40 AM
I would back off on the formal learning/questions and just make everything 100% play based. With an emphasis on the PROCESS and not the product. In other words, let her enjoy the cuttings and gluing without any preconceived idea of how it should look or what it should be when she's done.

Do you have a craft bucket? Just put together a bunch of stuff like scissors, glue, paper, etc and let her do whatever she wants. I would add new materials every week or so (like shredded paper from the dollar store, the kind you use to wrap gifts, paper sacks, pipe cleaners, jingle bells, paper plates, etc). She's going to make gains in her fine motor skills just by being allowed to explore. You can buy alphabet stickers or cut out letters yourself. Just having them around will help. But no pressure. I'd just comment and say stuff like: oh I see you have the letter J sticker!!

If you want you can make labels for things around the house, like door and chair and light. Stick them up. She will see them.

And read to her. A lot. That will build her language skills.

You don't want her to feel pressured or frustrated this young. Just take it easy.
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by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 6:25 AM

My daughter is in first grade but has done that since pre-school also. Dives me crazy. She is a perfectionist and if she cant figure it out immediately she gets frustrated. But, having said that she is getting straight A's and is incredibly smart.

I say let her be. Give her some time to JUST PLAY. To me it sounds like you are pushing a bit too hard. Kids cannot learn 24/7. She is only 4. She will get bored and frustrated. Let her be a kid and play more. 

by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 9:12 AM
I think it's just her age. It's good that she knows what she does, but you don't want to push it.
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by on Mar. 6, 2013 at 10:19 AM
I think its normal. We struggle with my sons schooling often. They get frustrated easy at these ages. Maybe switcb o er to fun stuff for awhile like art projects or drawing letters in shaving cream or finger paints. Science projects or cooking projects.
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