Strategies to Tame Perfectionism

Perfectionism is natural to the gifted child’s development. Perfectionism compels the child forward if properly harnessed. But the gifted child can become derailed by perfectionistic tendencies that get out of control. Parents and teachers who understand and realistically deal with their child’s or student’s needs to complete a task perfectly will be more effective.

PerfectRectangle.gif 1. Do not use perfectionistic criteria when motivating a gifted child, because it will intensify overachievement or underachievement, and distract from the child’s inner potential.
2. Be careful to set realistic achievable goals that are meaningful to a child.
3. Don’t transmit your own perfectionistic goals and ideals to the gifted child. In other words, don’t overidentify with your child or student.
4. Understand the difference between challenging a child and pushing a child.
5. Learn to advocate for your child in a fruitful manner. Avoid being your child or student’s business manager.
6. Foster intrinsic motivation.
7. Help develop peer interaction.