Posts tagged gifted children

From Perfection to Personal Bests: 7 Ways to Help a Gifted Child

You get the letter from school in the mail. A teacher has identified your child as potentially “gifted” and wants to send him or her for further testing and evaluation. Flash forward: the tests are completed, your child is a whiz, and enrichment classes will become a part of his regular school routine. What wonderful news!

It was in my family. Until all of a sudden, it wasn’t anymore. Instead of my seven-year old feeling enhanced self-confidence and pride in her intellectual and creative abilities, what I began to see was a newly anxious little girl who cried over imperfect scores on her handwriting test and wanted to give up books “forever” when she found out she placed second in her class’ monthly reading contest.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Please check out my post on for 7 essential strategies on how professionals, parents, and caregivers can nurture a “growth mindset” in their gifted child.

5 Ways to Parent a Perfectionist


Some days, I wish I were more of a perfectionist.  I see the splotch of paint on my bedroom ceiling and think, “Oh, I should have touched that up…nine years ago.”  I notice the slightly askew picture frames on our family room wall and wish I had bothered to measure before I hammered the nails in to the wall.  Then, I forget about it.

When I watch my seven-year old daughter agonize over handwriting homework and berate herself for missing one question on her
30-problem math test, I thank the gods of “good enough” that perfectionism was never my thing.  And I ask those same
gods for advice on how to help my child overcome her need to be flawless.

If you, too, are the parent of a perfectionist, here are some tips that I have found to be most effective:

1.       Play up personal strengths and play down competitions

In school and at home, my daughter loves to win.  My husband insists that this is a great quality and I know that in many ways, her desire for excellence will serve her well.  Yet I also know that too much of a good thing can be rough, especially for young kids who hold themselves to impossibly high standards.  When my daughter seems singularly focused on being the ‘best” reader in
her class or getting the “highest” score in math, we try to re-focus her energies on achieving personal bests and celebrating


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