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Q:

My gifted child is experiencing perfectionism, how can I help them develop a healthy attitude towards mistakes and failures?

Hello everyone,

I am a parent to a gifted child who often struggles with perfectionism. My child is highly intelligent and diligent in their academic pursuits, but they become very discouraged when they cannot achieve their goals flawlessly. As a result, they often experience a lot of stress and anxiety, and I am concerned for their mental health.

I want to help my child develop a healthy attitude towards mistakes and failures so that they can learn to embrace imperfection as a natural part of their growth and development. I believe that this is an important skill for them to learn, not only for their future success but also for their overall well-being.

I would appreciate any advice or tips on how to encourage my child to overcome their perfectionism and see mistakes and failures as opportunities for growth and learning. Thank you in advance for your help!

All Replies

deborah32

Hi there, as a parent myself, I can understand the concern you have for your gifted child who is experiencing perfectionism. I have had a similar experience with my child who is also gifted but would not accept anything less than perfection. It can be a difficult situation to manage.

What worked for us was to first acknowledge our child's achievements and show gratitude for all their hard work. We also had to talk with our child about the importance of mistakes as these are essential for learning and growth. We used examples of successful people who have faced failures multiple times before achieving their goals.

Another thing that worked for our child was teaching them that it is okay to fail and make mistakes. We had to let them know that we love them regardless of their successes and failures. This helped our child relax and be less anxious about their academic achievements, and it gave them confidence to keep trying even if they did not succeed at first.

Lastly, as parents, we had to model the behavior we wanted our child to develop. We had to show them that we were not perfect and that it was okay to make mistakes. By doing this, our child realized that it was natural for humans to make errors or experience setbacks, and that it is essential to learn from those errors.

I hope this helps you and your child. Good luck!

vbecker

Hello everyone,

As an educator, I have worked closely with many gifted children who have experienced perfectionism. One technique that has worked well for many of my students is to encourage them to reflect on their process instead of just the outcome.

It is essential to teach gifted children that the journey or the process of learning is just as significant as the final result. They should learn to focus on their efforts, perseverance, and progress, rather than just the A's, awards, and accolades. When children focus only on the final result, they are more susceptible to fixate on perfectionism, which can fuel anxiety, self-doubt, and an unhealthy attitude towards failure.

In my experience, another helpful technique when dealing with gifted children experiencing perfectionism is to encourage them to take risks and try new things. Setting achievable challenges, experimenting with new strategies, and being allowed to take risks and fail safely can lead to valuable insights and skills that help the student grow and gain confidence in their abilities.

In conclusion, we can encourage gifted children to develop a healthy attitude towards mistakes and failures by shifting their emphasis from outcome to process, empowering them to take risks and try new things, and emphasizing progress over results.

madison50

Hello,

As a gifted individual who struggled with perfectionism, I can say that the fear of judgment by others, especially teachers and parents, contributed to it. One of the ways to help gifted children develop a healthy attitude towards mistakes and failures is to create a supportive environment for them.

When I was growing up, my parents provided continuous encouragement and praised me for my efforts, not just my results. They also provided a safe space where I could talk about the difficulties I was going through, without fear of being judged. This helped me accept myself, and it eliminated the pressure to please others through academic performance.

Another thing that helped me develop a healthier attitude towards mistakes and failures was learning how to self-evaluate my progress. My parents encouraged me to reflect on my study methods and their effectiveness. This allowed me to develop an awareness of my strengths and weaknesses, which helped me accept failures as part of that learning process.

Lastly, as an adult, I have learned the importance of practicing self-compassion. It's not only helpful to cultivate a positive mindset when dealing with failures or mistakes, but it's also essential to learn when to forgive oneself if things don't go as planned. This self-grace goes a long way in developing a positive attitude towards setbacks.

In conclusion, creating a conducive and supportive environment, developing self-evaluation, and practicing self-compassion are essential for helping gifted children overcome perfectionism.

zemmerich

Hello everyone,

As a former gifted child who grew up with perfectionism, I can attest that personalized goal-setting worked well for me. Perfectionism often stems from setting the bar unattainably high, which can result in performance anxiety and a fixation on making no mistakes.

To overcome this, my parents helped me create realistic and individualized goals that acknowledged my strengths and weaknesses. By focusing on a few key areas, I could work towards progress and growth rather than just aiming for perfection. This approach helped me accept mistakes as part of the learning process and helped me develop resilience in the face of setbacks.

Another vital way to help gifted children develop a healthy attitude towards mistakes and failures is by encouraging reflection and problem-solving strategies. Instead of seeing mistakes as a failure, my parents helped me approach them as an opportunity to learn and improve. This mindset shift helped me build my resilience and helped me see challenges not as threats, but as opportunities to learn and improve.

Lastly, it helped that my parents not only celebrated my academic achievements but also encouraged me to explore new interests outside the academic sphere. Pursuing hobbies helped me gain a sense of fulfillment outside of academics and reminded me that achieving perfection in one area of life is not the only measure of success.

In conclusion, personalized goal-setting, reflection, problem-solving strategies, and pursuing hobbies are essential for helping gifted children overcome perfectionism.

katheryn.haley

Hello,

As a former gifted child who dealt with perfectionism throughout my academic career, I can offer some advice on how my parents helped me overcome my perfectionism.

One thing that worked well for me was building my character, not just my grades. Instead of only being celebrated for academic achievement, my parents emphasized the importance of being kind, respectful, honest, and hardworking. This lesson helped me realize that I was valuable as a person, despite any external achievement or lack thereof.

Another thing that helped me was avoiding comparison with other students. My parents encouraged me to focus on myself, and not constantly compare myself to others in terms of academic performance, social status, or appearance. This helped me take ownership of my achievements and cultivate a sense of intrinsic motivation rather than feeling like I was in a competition with others.

Lastly, my parents helped me to understand that there is no such thing as "perfect." It’s more accurate to look for excellence, which is achievable if one puts in the right amount of dedication, hard work, and personal improvement. This approach to success helped me find a balance in my academic goals and personal life.

In summary, parents can support their gifted children by valuing their character, avoiding unnecessary comparisons, and emphasizing excellence instead of perfection. I hope this helps you and your child.

okeefe.beth

Hey there! Perfectionism can be an overwhelming issue, and it can hamper the personal and academic growth of gifted children. As a parent of a gifted child who went through this, I can offer some advice based on what worked for us.

The first thing that helped our child was setting realistic goals. We had to sit down with our child and go through their academic progress and set achievable goals that they could work towards. This approach helped our child overcome their fixation on perfection and focus more on growth.

Another thing that worked for us was to encourage our child to take a break when they felt overwhelmed. We had to make sure that our child had time for fun activities so that they did not feel too pressured to focus excessively on academics. Exercise, playing with friends, and taking up hobbies like painting or music helped our child find joy outside of academics.

Lastly, we had to keep communication with our child as a priority. We talked with our child frequently and listened keenly to their concerns. We avoided scolding or getting frustrated when our child made mistakes, and instead, we gave support and encouragement as they worked through the difficulties.

In conclusion, helping a gifted child to develop a healthy attitude towards mistakes and failures requires patience, persistence, setting achievable goals and communication. I hope you find these tips useful in helping your child overcome perfectionism.

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