Blog Archives

Perfectionism A Practical Guide to Managing “Never Good Enough”

gtchat 07112017 Perfectionism

This week #gtchat welcomed back former #gtchat Advisor, Lisa Van Gemert, to chat about her new book, Perfectionism A Practical Guide to Managing “Never Good Enough”. Perfectionism is life experienced in endless attempts to do what can’t be done. Reality never measures up to perception. It is the culmination of too high expectations which ultimately affects one’s quality of life.

“I define perfectionism as the pursuit of excellence in the absence of self- love. It is also often defined as setting impossibly high standards and being unsatisfied with high  quality of work.” ~ Lisa Van Gemert 

Perfectionism is a coat of many colors – overachievement, aversion to risk, and procrastination. An interesting type of perfectionism is managing your self-image; what you want others to see.

There are benefits of viewing perfectionism as being on a continuum. When perfectionism is no longer one single ‘thing”, it’s not seen as something to be fixed. One must deal with it long-term. If you view perfectionism on a continuum, certain behaviors can produce achievable results such as good grades in school.

“The continuum model of anything is less rigid. It doesn’t say, “Fix this,” but rather, “Move slightly, please.” With a continuum, we can ease back to the middle, rather than saying it’s all or nothing. That idea is its own kind of perfectionism. Perfectionists will not typically become laissez-faire, Type B people, but they can move a little to the left on the Bell curve!” ~ Lisa Van Gemert 

Some comorbid conditions can complicate perfectionism. It can be extremely complicated for twice-exceptional kids who already challenge society’s norms. Perfectionism paired with Executive Functioning issues or ADHD are at a disadvantage from the get-go.

How do we balance ‘do your best’ and ‘nobody’s perfect’ for young gifted children? We need to be honest with kids … especially young gifted ones who really want to be perfect but lack understanding. Too often, parents ‘expect’ way too much from gifted children; unwittingly can cause a lot of emotional damage. Adults need to see the fallacy in thinking ‘perfection’ is attainable; do a reality check.

“Not everything is worth “do your best”! Not everything worth doing IS worth doing well. Parents and Teachers can balance this by helping kids identify what is worth doing well and exactly how well. I use a 1-5 scale for deciding how well something should be done. 1 is just do it. 5 is make it as great as possible.” ~ Lisa Van Gemert 

In the book, Lisa presents strategies and action steps which work best in dealing with perfectionism. The first actionable step must be to identify the fact that perfectionism may be affecting one’s life adversely. A strategy based on management rather than elimination of perfectionism will result in a more successful resolution. A transcript can be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Perfectionism: A Practical Guide to Managing “Never Good Enough” (Great Potential Press)

The Perils of Perfectionism

Perfectionism: Presentation & Handout 

Perfection{ism}: The Occupational Hazard of Giftedness (SlideShare)

The Perfection Deception: Why Striving to Be Perfect Is Sabotaging Your Relationships (Amazon)

Perfectionism, Coping & Emotional Adjustment (pdf)

Perfectionism, Fear of Failure & Affective Responses to Success & Failure (pdf)

What to Do When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough: Real Deal on Perfectionism: Guide for Kids (Amazon)

Perfectionism Dimensions in Children: Association with Anxiety & Depression

Perfectionism and Peer Relations Among Children with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (pdf)

Overcoming Perfectionism: Finding the Key to Balance & Self-Acceptance (Amazon)

Overcoming Perfectionism in Kids

AUS: Letting Go of Perfectionism

Sprite’s Site: White Poodle, Black Poodle

Cybraryman’s Perfection Links Page https://goo.gl/EbHh2u

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad. Photos courtesy of Lisa Van Gemert and Great Potential Press.

“Perfectionism” with Guest, Lisa Van Gemert

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Our guest this week was one of our own #gtchat advisors, Lisa Van Gemert, chatting with us about perfectionism. Lisa Van Gemert is well-known in the gifted community for her keynote addresses, presentations and as a consultant to American Mensa. You can read more about Lisa at her website.

According to Lisa, “Perfectionism is a setting of unreasonably high expectations combined with a lack of self-love and includes an unhealthy concern for others’ opinions of one’s work. Perfectionists also typically overgeneralize failure, seeing it as a sign of catastrophic, systemic personal failure. They are often hyper-aware of how things could be & think that means that is how they must be.”

“Perfectionism is a setting of unreasonably high expectations combined with a lack of self-love and includes an unhealthy concern for others’ opinions of one’s work.”  ~ Lisa Van Gemert 

We learned there are different types of perfectionist gifted kids. They include those who avoid taking risks, those who continually try to perfect their work, or the overachiever. Lisa told us that kids aren’t always perfectionistic across the board and thus may appear meticulous at home but chaotic at school.

“Perfectionism is multidimensional. Recent research (Stoeber 2015) established self-prescribed, socially-prescribed & other-oriented.” ~ Dr. Cait Fuentes King

The relationship between perfectionism and underachievement is a complex one. “Perfectionists can underachieve when they fail to turn in work because it’s not at the level they wanted. Perfectionism can lead to hopelessness which is a straight ticket to underachievement. It is another word for misalignment and perfectionism is misalignment of goals with reality/desirability,” Lisa said.

The consequences of perfectionism are many. Lisa listed them as, “stress, decreased social acceptance, workaholicism, and a neglect of other interests. Also, fear, underachievement, anxiety, limited social interaction, limited risk taking, rigidity, eating disorders, self-harm,  and unhealthy dependence on external evaluation/acceptance.” Perfectionism can bring ‘living a full life’ to a halt; narrowing one’s focus to ‘not seeing forest for the trees’.

What strategies can be used to deal with perfectionism? Parents can serve as role models for their children; don’t insist on everything being absolutely perfect. Teachers can also consider task requirements and make modifications when necessary. Lisa suggested, “Let the child set his/her own goals, learn appropriate goal disengagement, and teach good self-talk. Avoiding authoritarian parenting is key. Make sure you let your kids see your own failures, mistakes and risks. Avoid only rewarding high grades. Sometimes we act like the lowest grade is in a different color ink. Celebrate risk taking and build risk-taking experiences into the family where it is safe.”

A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

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Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Examining the Construct of Perfectionism: A Factor-Analytic Study (cgi)

Helpful Tips for Parents of Perfectionistic Gifted Learners

Voices of Perfectionism: Perfectionistic Gifted Adolescents in a Rural Middle School

Letting Go of Perfect: Overcoming Perfectionism in Kids (Amazon)

Too Perfect: When Being in Control Gets Out of Control (Amazon)

What to Do When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough: Real Deal on Perfectionism: Guide for Kids (Amazon)

Freeing Our Families from Perfectionism (Amazon)

You’ve Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em: Goal Disengagement/Systemic Inflammation in Adolescence (Abstract)

Perfectionism: The Presentation

The Perils of Perfectionism

Lisa Van Gemert’s Website: Gifted Guru

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Guest: Christine Fonseca, Author of ‘Raising the Shy Child’

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This week, #gtchat welcomed back our friend, Christine Fonseca, Prufrock Press Author, to discuss her latest book Raising the Shy Child: A Parent’s Guide to Social Anxiety. You can check out her website and blog, follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook, and visit her on Goodreads. You can also preview her book at Google Books.

According to Christine, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) can be recognized by physical, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. Physical symptoms may include headaches, nausea, palpitations, or choking. Paralyzing fear of humiliation, embarrassment by peers, excessive worry, negation, and avoidance are possible cognitive symptoms. Behavioral symptoms of SAD can include avoiding eye contact, avoiding being in the spotlight, avoiding social events, or school phobia.

Social Anxiety Disorder is more than being anxious for a moment. It can be a lifelong struggle if not dealt with early on. Kids who use excuses – constantly going to the nurse’s office, for example – to avoid certain tasks may be experiencing SAD. Because it may mimic other conditions, adults need to be responsible when dealing with a child’s anxiety!

Not all children with underdeveloped social skills will develop social anxiety. However, lacking social skills can set the stage for social anxiety. Christine told us, “SAD happens when a combination of things occur. This combo is different for everyone. Behavior inhibition, parenting style, and a traumatic event can all contribute to the development of SAD, as well as poor social skills.”

Practicing particular social skills can help any child. It sometimes helps lessen some anxiety. Acting out behaviors seem to follow anxiety. Parents and teachers need to stop and think before reprimanding a child. Kids who may be afraid of an activity may exhibit a behavior they believe will help them avoid the situation altogether. However, Christine reminded as that it is important to support giftedness before assuming SAD.

The conversation then turned to the role of perfectionism, sometimes associated with giftedness, in potential Social Anxiety Disorder. Christine believes that “perfectionism has a bad reputation.” [She] sees this as “task commitment – something that is ultimately good and necessary, but when perfectionism turns to paralysis and avoidance; THEN it is a problem. And yes, this can lead to SAD in some cases. With a mild case, you can teach social skills, work with the school to provide in class strategies, and employ CBT approaches.”

“For students experiencing SAD, support can include increased sensitivity [to the] anxiety, teaching calming techniques (deep breathing, etc) and developing safe zones at school,” Christine explained. “It’s Very important to NOT allow child to develop a habit of skipping or avoiding school or social events. This doesn’t help. [For] severe cases, use a counselor or therapist to assist. CBT and exposure methods are highly effective.”

Some behaviors come out of no where. Learning calming strategies beforehand; even practicing can be valuable. earning the triggers to anxiety can prove invaluable in the classroom as well as at home. For a more extensive review of the chat, a transcript may be found at Storify.

Raising the Shy Child Cover

Congratulations to Mr. Gelston, educator in his Virtual One Room Schoolhouse in Lexington, MA, who was the winner of a copy of Raising the Shy Child courtesy of the author!

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our new Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

How to Raise Shy Kids with Confidence

Publisher’s Weekly Select 2015 Parenting Titles

Shy Kids: Do We Really Need to Change Them?

Social Phobia at Medscape

Infant-Parent Attachment: Definition, Types, Antecedents, Measurement & Outcome 

Social Anxiety Disorder Fact Sheet DSM-V (pdf)

Social Anxiety in Children: Social Skills Deficit, or Cognitive Distortion? (pdf)

Use of Differential Reinforcement & Fading with Separation Anxiety Disorder

Promoting Adolescents’ Prosocial Behavior (pdf)

When Your Child’s Exceptionality is Emotional: Looking Beyond Psychiatric Diagnosis via SENG

What is Social Anxiety?

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Procrastination and the Gifted Child

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Procrastination is a widespread concern in the gifted community which affects young children, adolescents, and adults. It can affect school work, career development, and family life. Although procrastination does occur in the general populace, gifted individuals often experience it to a greater degree as a manifestation of their giftedness and in part because of higher expectations.

During our chat, participants expressed many reasons for procrastinating: they worked better under pressure, preferred to delay tasks that did not interest them, task initiation was stressful, multipotentiality made decision-making difficult, and everything had to be just right. However, author Christine Fonseca pointed out that there is also a positive aspect, “Procrastination can create an adrenal rush that makes ideas flow. There is a wonderful thing about being in the flow; what looks like procrastination is simply finding that.”

Janine Mac, a teacher in Canada, explained that “My gifted and talented students don’t need as much time as others. Starting and finishing early means more work [for them].” 

With regard to gifted children, chronic distractibility develops because too often they don’t need to pay attention in class. They are required to do things they already know how to do and have little interest in completing repetitive tasks. Gifted children with executive functioning issues may lack the skills to prioritize and complete assignments despite motivation. Impostor Syndrome may cause gifted students to delay completion of projects due to anxiety from feelings of inadequacy. Avoidance behavior in gifted children can signal deeper issues that should be recognized and addressed before a small problem becomes a major issue.

Jeremy Bond, writer and parent, stated “They’re not gifted in everything, so they procrastinate with the difficult things because they prefer the comfort of doing well.”

The consequences of procrastination can have pronounced effects on a gifted child. Inattention/distractibility leading to procrastination does not stop at the end of the school day & leads to conflict at home. Gifted children who have ADD can compensate in elementary school, but struggle when they reach the secondary level. An inability to get things finished can lead to mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. Ultimately, procrastination can become a threat to career development & achievement.

Jeffrey Farley, a middle school teacher expressed this concern, “Biggest consequence of procrastinating I have seen is when perfectionism takes hold and time is too short to reach the vision.”

What can parents and teachers do to help their child or student with procrastination? Don’t assume a child is lazy because they procrastinate. They may be overwhelmed, overconfident, unchallenged. (Byrd) Try to stay positive when your child procrastinates on school assignments and do not lose your temper. Changes to the environment such as limiting distractions can aid in promoting task completion. Forget the “let’s get super organized” trap that requires a child to have to focus more on organizing rather than completing tasks. Be open to asking for help from other parents or appropriate school personnel – you’ll find you’re not alone. A full transcript can be found on our Storify page.

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Ten Reasons Why Your Gifted Child Procrastinates from Gifted Challenges

A Side Effect of Giftedness: Procrastination

The Gifted Kids Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook (Amazon)

Perfectionism: What’s Bad About Being Too Good? (Amazon)

The Highly Distracted Gifted Child: You Can Help

A Guide to Time Management

Does Your Gifted Child Have ADD (ADHD)?

Handbook of Giftedness in Children (Google Books) Pfeiffer

The Real Causes of Procrastination via ByrdseedGifted

Not Now, Maybe Later: Helping Children Overcome Procrastination from Great Potential Press

Perfectionism, Procrastination & Perspicacity from PaulaProber

Grandparents’ Guide to Gifted Children (Google Books) from Great Potential Press

The Everything Parent’s Guide to Raising a Gifted Child (Google Books)

Taming the Procrastination Beast from Paula Prober

Highly Gifted Children with Attention Deficit Disorder by Lovecky (1991) from Davidson Gifted

The Procrastinator’s Guide to the Galaxy and Other Important Spots in the Universe

Giftedness and Procrastination Livebinder from Leslie Graves

How to Overcome Perfectionism & Procrastination

Procrastination—A Cry for Help

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