Beth,Blessed Beth wrote:My 2nd grader ds is a perfectionist. He wants all of his letters to be perfect. If his "a" goes a little below the line, he wants to stop and erase the whole thing and do it again. I've tried to not allow him to do so and let him see that the finished work still looks good but he gets very unhappy about that.
Does anybody else have this issue? Any ideas? I do break up the writing lessons over several days and do many things orally instead, otherwise we would never get our lessons done.
My now-10 year old dd is a bit like this. There are blessing to it (she does a great job in a lot of things, is the first to practice her violin, make her bed, etc.) but it's a real problem too, as you know. It helps to understand what makes a kid a perfectionist (a desire to be best or to be recognized, a thought that perfect work is the only work worthy of praise and of mom's love, the idea that mistakes are simply TERRIBLE, pride, competition, etc.).
When we first started hs'ing our kids, my 10 yo was 7 and in second grade and would fall to tears when she disappointed herself. I picked an otherwise happy and peaceful time (ie. not right after an incident), sat her down, and told her that she was a perfectionist and why it wasn't a good thing to be (it slows her down, it can hurt others' feelings, it sets up a "comparison" mindset -- going both ways -- that is just not good). I explained that God created us in different ways and we all excel in some areas and struggle in other ways. It's fine to not be terrific at everything.
Also, keep an eye for perfectionism in YOUR life. If you demonstrate perfectionism, he'll think it's a good thing and he'll do it too. If you tend to be perfectionist, tell him that you struggle too and ask him to kindly point it out to you when you try to be perfect.
I told my dd to "aim for excellent." That meant to do her work the best she could. I told her "perfect" was reserved for GOD and we can't be perfect because we can't be God.
Tell your ds that you'll help him get over this through prayer and creative ways to limit his tendencies. Doing oral work will help avoid those situations, but you really WANT to face a few each day so you can remind him that "perfect is for God; so aim for excellent."
Just be glad you homeschool him, where you can tenderly take this bull by the horns!