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Perfectionism GATE Parent Session Welcome! Thank you for joining us tonight! Feb. 4, 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "Perfectionism GATE Parent Session Welcome! Thank you for joining us tonight! Feb. 4, 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 Perfectionism GATE Parent Session Welcome! Thank you for joining us tonight! Feb. 4, 2015

2 “Off-Center and Smudged” Introductions and “Something Wonderful” Hear a gifted teen’s story…

3 Goals for Tonight Discuss possible reasons for the link between giftedness and perfectionism Consider whether there is such a thing as healthy perfectionism Explore how adults can help children cope with perfectionism Have time to reflect and connect with other families who may have perfectionist children

4 Is there a link between giftedness and perfectionism? If everything has always come easy (lack of challenge), child will eventually avoid all opportunities which might lead to failure. If rewards are artificial, child may learn to “play the game” in order to collect rewards Gifted children are almost always asynchronous. They may set standards appropriate to their mental age only (“lofty goals”) Gifted children often relate better with older children or adults and therefore may have an unrealistic expectation to perform at these peers’ levels. Gifted children may be given unrealistic expectations by teachers and competitive peers, or may be rewarded by them for achieving and “being so smart.” Introverts (over ½ gifted population) more often get lost in their work, ideas, etc. Schuler, 2000

5 Table Discussion: Linking Giftedness and Perfectionism What have you observed in your gifted child to indicate possible perfectionism? Which personality or intellectual traits in your seem linked to perfectionism for your child? What strategies have you attempted in order to help your gifted child work through perfectionist thoughts and actions?

6 Is there such a thing as healthy perfectionism? “High Achieving?” Deriving pleasure from doing something that is difficult Focusing on strengths, constructive criticism Feels safe taking risks “Perfectionist” Unable to experience pleasure from accomplishments as they are never good enough Focusing on weaknesses, highly critical Avoids risks and new experiences

7 Table Discussion: Healthy and Unhealthy Perfectionism Have you observed “healthy perfectionism”? When have you observed “unhealthy perfectionism”? What are the dangers you see in healthy and unhealthy perfectionism?

8 Please be aware… Some perfectionists get stuck with details, order, rules, etc. This type of perfectionism is associated with OCD. Some perfectionists set standards that can’t possibly be met. This type of perfectionism is associated with anxiety and depression. – If significant, seek professional help – If moderate, help and support your child

9 How can we help children cope with perfectionism? Address the possible fear of failure and fear of success Help children see the value of mistakes and experience mistakes. Read up on “Growth Mindset” and Carol Dweck’s work – but be careful with this, too (the idea of effort). Explore “risk making” in safe ways Discuss “success” and “accomplishment” with your child – define it together, find personal examples, beware of “imposter syndrome.” Ask your child if s/he feels pressured to be perfect – discuss this Help craft ways to communicate with those who pressure them See handout on tips for dealing with perfectionism

10 Table Discussion: Coping with Perfectionism Please share what you know about coping with perfectionism. Have you tried anything with your child that was impactful? Any examples (stories, books, movies, websites) that might help kids with self- understanding and issues with achievement/perfectionism?

11 Thank you for your time and for sharing with us tonight! Trina Hira


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