Perfectionist Child - updated

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Perfectionist Child - updated

Postby jessles » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:06 pm

I need to refer to my brain's trust.
.
We are really struggling with DD2 (6yo). She's now into Week 5 of 1st class (so 2nd year of full-time schooling). She says she doesn't want to go to school because she can't do the work. She says she'll only go if I stay at school all day. There's been tears.
She usually comes out of the class really excited about her day and all the things that she's learnt.
Even the teacher says that she's doing really well/fine, but she's slow eg with recount writing (On the weekend I....). She could write a whole page, but she just sits there and doesn't write anything because if she gets stuck on how to spell a word she refuses to write anything. The teacher says to the class that she doesn't care about the spelling, just get something down.
We were sent books home on the weekend to cover, so I had a quick flick. Other than some spelling mistakes, everything is absolutely fine.
The teacher tells me that we have to work on the perfectionism and help her to grow resilience.

I don't know how to encourage her.

My mum said that she struggled with me because when I was going through school they were told to ask questions like what else could you have done etc so apparently all I heard was 'you're not good enough' and I struggled. I definitely don't want that for DD2.
I think another part of DD2's problem is that she coasted through Kindy without having to think too much. She was doing yr1 maths from early in the year last year. She finished the year on the same level reader as DD1's friends were on in Yr 2. But now she's hit 'work time' and she has to think more and she's in a 1/2 composite which apparently has the teaching level of 1-3 (maybe even some Kindy) in it.

Has anyone had any experience with kids like this. HELP please.
Last edited by jessles on Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Perfectionist Child

Postby SadiesMum » Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:11 pm

Sadie is like this - the perfectionist. If she can't do it first time then she "can't".
I have thought that as she is surrounded by big people she does not see people struggle to learn a new task or to make mistakes.
She does not really have the ability to laugh at oneself...is that a good thing? I dunno, but I think that's how I cope with not doing it "properly" first time. Having said that she is beginning to get a bit of a sense of humour about herself.
She is very hard on herself ie: if we correct or discipline her then she says that she is dumb and stupid :shock: . I always make a point that we are calling out the action, not the person but at times that can be to no avail.
Sadie is particularly bright for her age and class cohort. During the process of school wanting to put her in the G&T stream I came across reading that some of this perfectionist stuff comes from high IQ. I may be drawing a long bow but I put (part) of this perfectionist stuff down to that.
We talk about practice a lot. You have to practice things and keep doing things over to get good at them.

http://www.kellybear.com/TeacherArticle ... Tip53.html ...1, 12 and 13 stand out for Sadie
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Re: Perfectionist Child

Postby jessles » Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:42 pm

Sadiesmum, can you please repost that link.

A lot of what you said about Sadie rings true for Zali.

I've always wondered whether the IQ and her perfectionalist is connected.
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Re: Perfectionist Child

Postby freerange » Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:18 pm

Perfectionism can also go hand in hand with anxiety.

I don't have any great advice but making school work fun and no big deal may help.
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Re: Perfectionist Child

Postby Mummy woo! » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:24 pm

Another high IQ anxious perfectionist here. I have found having a diagnosis of anxiety helpful when dealing with the school - it helps to make clear that this is outside the run of the mill childhood worries.
Our school has a program that teaches positive habits of the mind which my kids have both responded well to (connie confidence, ricky resilience and a few others). Oobiwoo also did the 'Cool Kids' program with the school counsellor. We worked through a book at home called 'Helping your Anxious Child'.
And I think time has helped a lot. Oobiwoo is a different child from what he was like two years ago (now he is eight). He has had great supports at school and at home, but I think a large part is also maturity.
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Re: Perfectionist Child

Postby jessles » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:02 pm

Well, DD2's teacher has arranged for me to come and have a meeting with her next week. She mentioned the cool kids program too Mummywoo!

DD2 is kinda two-faced (but in a good way). I cop all the crap at home. Yes, she's had anxious tears during all sorts of times at school, but other than that she enjoys school and is doing really well. Even the teacher is shaking her head a little at DD2. But the teacher just wants her to succeed and enjoy school. YAY for the teacher.

DD2 tried out for dance and got in. But boy the issues just getting her to the try-out but now she's telling everyone how excited she is because she's in. I think she was 'scared' that she wasn't going to be good enough and therefore didn't want to try out. I did kinda force the issue and I'm glad I did.

I tell her that school is for fun etc, but that doesn't seem to matter. I don't know how to make school fun for her.

Mummywoo! what did you have to do to get the diagnosis and how has it made a difference when dealing with school?

Thanks!
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Re: Perfectionist Child

Postby Mummy woo! » Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:09 pm

We got a referral from our GP for a paed. We did that when Oobiwoo was in kinder and he was still having huge tantrums several times a week. There just didn't seem to be anything we could do to comfort him. I half suspected autism but not everything fit but I knew it wasn't right. It took a dear friend giving a few hints before we pulled the pin and spoke to our GP. The paed did an hour long consultation, talked to us and Oobiwoo and diagnosed anxiety. I think that is a pretty general diagnosis, but it got us time with a psychologist and a label to demand the help we needed from school. The psych actually suggested iq testing might help with school too.

As an example, when we told the teacher Oobiwoo was bored she didn't believe us because he wasn't being naughty. We were able to explain that he wasn't being naughty because he was terrified of her (even though she was lovely) and of getting in trouble in general (even though our school uses restorative justice). And that the psych said he was bored at school :roll: Then we were taken seriously, wihthout having to do as much work to prove ourselves.

The psych who did the iq testing expressed some doubt about the anxiety, and I suspect other issues will come up, but we haven't pursued anything because he is doing ok and it can be a bit of a treadmill. We are managing ok at present.

The paed, psych and iq testing were all hideously expensive. Had we gone public I think we would still be waiting. We had the iq testing done by a Ph.D. Student at the university and she was excellent but we still needed to pay the fee for the test, just not her time. If you have a psychology school at a Uni near you it might be worth calling them and asking what they have. Ours did the iq testing and they ran some talk therapy groups for different issues. Students work under supervision, you are helping them learn and they are right up to date with their research.


That was long! Hth
Good luck.
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Re: Perfectionist Child

Postby SadiesMum » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:14 pm

http://www.kellybear.com/TeacherArticle ... Tip53.html

Yes to the copping it at home. I think they bottle it all up and then spew it all out on those that love them most.
And yes, anxiety is a big part. I found though that things like the blue site kid stuff only make her feel worse as she thinks about it...the thing that makes her anxious at the time...a lot more. We had a big thing last year about not wanting to leave my side...she's 10.
Sadie plays/learns percussion at school. Yesterday she needed to practice on the glockenspiel. Mind you, the glock has been in hibernation over the summer holidays and has only just seen the light of day. It was hard. She now wants to stop. :? Today hopefully she will be talking to her music teacher about the problems she has and gets some ideas on what to do with the piece.
Like MW said maturity plays a big role.
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Re: Perfectionist Child

Postby freerange » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:11 pm

Re the iq testing, what sort of school are you at? The school counsellor should be able to do an iq test and pretty quick too. If it's a public school it will be free.

So many options tho, have a look for school holiday programs for kids with anxiety too.
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Re: Perfectionist Child

Postby jessles » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:36 pm

Well, I had a meeting with DD2's teacher last week. Everything seemed to be going good. The meltdowns had decreased and she's been given harder work to do both in class and for homework.

Anyway, this morning she snapped and went right off "I hate my life, Everything is too hard, I don't want to live".

My heart just broke for her. I couldn't spend too much individual time with her, but in the time I did have she said that everything is just too hard. She doesn't know why.

I caught the teacher and told her this morning and apparently DD2 had a massive meltdown for another teacher yesterday over some colouring in they had to do. The teacher says it's her anxiety.

I've put a request in for the school counsellor to give me a ring to chat and see what the next step is.

She's too young to be talking like this.
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Re: Perfectionist Child - updated

Postby Bailey's Mum » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:23 pm

It definitely sounds like anxiety. Talk to the school counsellor, and your GP about a mental health plan - they can refer your to children's psychologists who can provide treatment under Medicare.

Happy to support you. My DS2 experienced severe anxiety as an 8-9yo, and I feel that the strategies we learned have helped DS3 and DS4 manage their anxiety better.
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Re: Perfectionist Child

Postby breastfeedingisnormal » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:28 pm

My DD is somewhat anxious. When the puberty-fair is not pouring hormonal kerosine on her anxiety, it is mostly triggered by feeling overwhelmed. She gets overwhelmed when she can't organise her stuff, doesn't know where she needs to be next, can't organise her ideas, forgets the instruction the teacher just gave her. She gets overwhelmed by sensory input (too cold, too loud, too quiet, too scratchy, too still or any combination). She also gets overwhelmed - and paralysed - by her own feelings. She has said this:
jessles wrote:she said that everything is just too hard. She doesn't know why.

Turns out, her 'anxiety' is mostly AD(H)D - which looks really different in girls from how most people picture it. DD is compliant, eager to please, careful (but clumsy), socially aware and appears to be able to sit still (but not for very long and if forced to do so, gets increasingly anxious - she has fidgets which help). Might be worth asking the psychologist about. I had to point out that being in the psychologist's office is fun and she has someone else's undivided attention to keep her focused before our psych conceded to screening her. She's off the scale. Like her mum.
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