I am new to this, I have just come from my sons classroom, he is 10 and in his final year at primary school, where after only being at school for three weeks, I have been asked to see her. I was not surprised at all, She said she has great concerns, and I actually agree with her, the last teacher was a male teacher very casual but helped with my sons low self esteem and emotional problems by being casual and doing lots of sport. So he was happy when he came home, but the teacher this morning has said that he had told her that he was highly emotional but he let it go.
Anyway... My son has huge self esteem problems, as he had a terrible teacher for his first year at school and she kept putting him in front of the principals office etc. No surprise when we changed schools he was held back a year. Which now bothers him a lot.
I am told by every teacher that he is very bright one and the teacher today said not to rule out being gifted when I mentioned that I had looked at this site but it might be a stretch.
When he started school he had trouble from day one, it was a shock he was so clever but couldn't put it on paper! and couldn't read, because if he didn't know a word he would panic and cry.
My problem is he wants to be the absolute best at everything, when he does basketball he thinks he will be able to get a three pointer within half an hour. If he does a test at school he wants to get 100% and often stops if he knows he has one wrong! So he doesn't complete the test.
He has improved so much this last year, mainly because pressure was off by having a casual teacher, and lots of sport during the day, but now we are in a new class and the teacher is fantastic but he feels the pressure probably because she is not just letting his moods go (which I don't want her to but am also confused if maybe we should).
I am lost, I have had him tested for Dispraxia, dislexia, I am now worried that its nothing like that but more to do with his high standard setting?
I don't know if I am on to anything here or clutching at straws, any advice?
My DS is only 4 so I can't offer much re school - but it seems though perfectionism is definitely playing a part for your DS eg not wanting to finish things when he can't do it perfectly. Maybe a psychologist that works with perfectionism/anxiety may be a place to start? Perfectionism can be completely debilitating both on performance and self esteem.
I agree with the above posts, definitely perfectionism playing a part there.
I had my ds tested at age 6 nearly 7 and he came out hg but perfectionist as well.
One thing it was suggested we try was having 'upside down days' where we do everything the wrong way round (i.e. pudding/icecream for breakfast as an example), but a whole day of doing things wrong!! Just to show them that the world doesn't fall apart when things aren't completed perfectly. I must say that ds absolutely loved his 'upside down days' and actually used to ask for them.
It was also suggested that I role model at home - me making mistakes and me not being perfect.
Glad you love the idea, we did too and my ds just loved having those days, we haven't had one in a very long time, but obviously haven't really needed to. We don't seem to have too many issues with perfectionism these days. I think he learnt a lot from it (obviously not cured as we are a family of perfectionists too - and at our age - difficult to let go of!!!).
Good luck, let us know how you get on.
We might have one again soon just for the fun of it :)
My 13 year old still talks fondly of the special Wacky Wedensdays held at her kindy - teachers wearing pyjamas, foliage and flowers in the toilet, all the play areas changed around .. the kids were prepared for it as something to look forward to and it helped them cope with change
There is a lovely picture book called "Henry and Amy" by I think Stephen king, about the relationship between a perfectionist and a creative (right way round and upside down) - it also made the "childrens book you should read before you grow up" list.
My daughter struggled with perfectionism too until I realised that both of her parents are perfectionists too! We have also done silly things to ease the problem - for instance we wash the car but we do it really badly. Make a huge mess of icing a cake that is just for the family (ie to try to teach her that there are times for perfectionism and times when a pretty crappy job will do). Most of all I have tried to be a better role model in regard to my own perfectionism.
I knew we had got it right when my daughter's secondary school teacher rang me because my daughter hadn't handed in an essay and she said "She wasn't even stressed about it when I told her it was due today". She meant it in a bad way as though my daughter didn't care but I felt like shouting "YES", something had gone wrong and my daughter didn't get overwhelmed. She handed the essay in the next day - no worries.
A full assessment would be a very good idea at this age though as high school isn't far away and it is a whole different world there where teachers are obsessed with Not Achieved and Excellences.
Your son sounds exactly like mine. Getting him cognitively assessed - we left it really late until he hit rock bottom last year in Year 6 - really helped and we found 2 terms of one day school did amazing things for his anxiety and low self esteem. He rediscovered his love of learning and I think that, combined with him realising he is a bright kid, helped give him more confidence. I think the main difference is our treatment of him. Now we realise why he reacts as he does. We know his anxiety and perfectionism are due to his overthinking. He has just turned 11 and is in his first year at intermediate school however his demeanour is that of a teenager but a highly anxious one. Especially with constant testing, peer pressure combined with his mild dyslexia. Now, we are fully supporting him and are ready to talk when he gets overwhelmed or uncertain. We realise that in the typical school system he will not shine but we make sure he has plenty of opportunities to learn the way he loves learning. We make sure he doesn't get too tired or too hungry because that becomes a catalyst for major meltdowns and self doubt. I do worry about the official teenage years since I know where anxiety and self doubt can lead........but I am hopeful that all the things we are learning about these type of special kids will help us cope with the journey! These forums are especially helpful:)
Hi there - a book I have been reading (and widely recommending) is called "living with Intensity" has an interesting chapter on perfectionism, both the positive and negative aspects it brings. The other term I have recently come across which is : worth googling to see if it fits your son is the highly sensitive person - the website www.hsperson.com Book is edited by Susan Daniels and and Michael Piechowski.