Perfectionism and Other Gifted/2E Quirks

gifted perfectionism GHF

What is a Blog Hop?

A Blog Hop is a way to discover and follow blogs, as well as share your own. Every month or two, we pose a topic, our blogging members discuss it, and we link to their posts. GHF blog hops include bloggers from around the world, all of them committed to articulating the unique concerns, needs, and perspectives of gifted/2e families, especially (but not exclusively) those who choose non-traditional education for their kids.

Gifted kids can be pretty quirky, and one of the most common of these quirks is perfectionism. In these posts, several of our bloggers share their experiences – for better or for worse – with perfectionism and other gifted characteristics in their own families. 

gifted perfectionismA Touch of Perfectionism ~ Gifted Unschooling (Amy Harrington)

Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t view perfectionism as a negative. I see motivation, determination and unwavering focus as an asset. Perhaps our unschooling philosophy helps shape my full glass view of the relentless drive that is perfection. Perspective is everything. Espousing a positive view of perfectionism keeps one aspirational until completion.

gifted perfectionismA Very Quirky Life ~ Homeschooling Hatters (Care Martin)

Mad Natter and I actually share quite a few of the same quirks – we sleep better when we can hear someone else breathing, we don’t do things if we can’t do them well, we will watch the same movie over and over, repeating the dialogue as we go… I think that might just be us, though.

Anyway. Some of the more common quirks that we see here in our Mooselandia home are fairly widespread amongst other like-type people.

gifted perfectionismAsynchronous and Awkward ~ Madeline’s Musings  (Madeline Goodwin)

For me, and for other gifted and twice-exceptional young adults, it is asynchrony in our development which turns our abilities into challenges. It is when several aspects of ourselves are in different places, leaving us in a constant state of tug-of-war. My observation is that executive function tends to lag behind, learning ability shoots way ahead, and emotional regulation requires control to prevent it from swinging back and forth like a pendulum. Sensory processing, motor skills, and social skills vary. This can lead to some awkward situations.

gifted perfectionismBeautifully Sensitive ~ Every Day Blessings (Tabitha Ferreira)

There are four of them living in my house. Four beautiful, creative, curious, and extremely sensitive children who live under our roof. It really is a blessing, most of the time.


gifted perfectionismHappy Quirks of Perfectionism in a Young Asynchronous Boy ~ The Cardinal House (Carissa Leventis-Cox)

When my 2 year old son discovered that he wrote one letter of his name backwards, he threw himself on the floor and howled for 30 minutes. It was an unbelievable and uncontrollable temper tantrum. Nothing I did consoled him and I felt just as defeated. But since that first outburst, I have learned that perfectionism comes with happy quirks too and we often lose sight of these. Let us remember that by celebrating these happy quirks, we allow our children to accept and delight in one of the fundamental parts of their being.

gifted perfectionistHealthy Perfectionism and How to Encouragement ~ Through a Stronger Lens (Nicole Linn)

Healthy perfectionism fuels the Olympic athlete, the best-selling novelist, and the mathematician who spends years proving a theory. Embrace it. Teach your children that mistakes are hurdles, not roadblocks, and teach them to leap.

gifted perfectionistIn Defense of Perfectionism ~ Up Parenting Creek (Maggie McMahon)

Perfectionism gets a bad rap. Let’s face it; there are lots of professions out there, where we expect precision. If your child is naturally precise, learn to embrace and encourage it, while balancing against the fear of failure and unreasonable expectations.

gifted perfectionismManaging Perfectionism: 10 Tips for Helping Your Child ~ Raising Lifelong Learners (Colleen Kessler)

Perfectionism can be so overwhelming for gifted kids that they can become paralyzed, and unable to even try new things. As a parent, watching your child struggle isn’t easy, especially when you’re not sure what to do. Here are 10 tips to help you help your child. Managing perfectionism is often a lifelong battle — but these tips can help build a toolbox of strategies.

gifted perfectionismMy Gifted Family: My Quirky Sense of Humor and Their Emotional Sensitivities ~ Crushing Tall Poppies (Celi Trepanier)

The emotional sensitivities and intensities of the gifted people in my house lowers the tolerance level to some of my greatest pranks.

hopamybNavigating Perfectionism ~ Eclectic Homeschool (Amy B.)

Perfectionism can be quite demanding. It can cause a child to crumple paper and throw it angrily across the room because something wasn’t just right. It can provoke a child to slam down a pencil and break the lead because one problem was missed. It can keep a child to from trying unless the child is assured of success. I know these things all too well.

gifted perfectionism anxietyPerfectionism and Anxiety are No Fun ~ Gluten-Free Mum (Kathleen Humble)

“I have to be perfect”

It sounds like a great thing, doesn’t it? A drive to get better at a task until you are the best you can be – a perfect swim, a perfect score, a perfect canvas, or a perfect story. Um, no. For our family, it sucks.

gifted perfectionistSeven Signs of Perfectionism in Children ~ Everyday Learning (Alessandra Giampaolo)

Aiming for high standards can actually be a positive trait we’d like to see in children. But when that drive for perfection breeds a fear of failure and avoiding opportunities, then the line has been crossed to the dark side… Can you spot the hidden signs of perfectionism in your child?

gifted perfectionismTen Signs That You’re a Perfectionist and Ten Things You Can Do About It ~ Your Rainforest Mind (Paula Prober)

Distinguish between healthy perfectionism that looks like very high standards and aims for beauty, balance, justice, harmony and precision and unhealthy perfectionism that looks like anxiety, paralysis and worthlessness when faced with a task where you’re not guaranteed success. The former, you learn to love; the latter, you work to heal.

gifted perfectionismThe Curse of Perfect ~ Random Everyday Blessings (Tabitha Ferreira)

There exists in my house a parasite. A tiny vampire that feeds off of the insecurities that hide below the surface and infects the inhabitants with an obsessive need for perfection. He rears his ugly head in different ways for different family members but his existence plagues us all.

gifted perfectionismThe Threads of Perfection: Tips for Taming the Talent ~ Wenda J. Sheard, JD, PhD

After I helped pin the quilt to the wall for photographing, I stood back to let the photographers do their magic. From a distance, the cream and brown colors of quilt’s fabric emerged into an elegantly scrolled capital letter, “F.” Suddenly I understood. The quilter’s decision to leave those threads hanging all raggedy was an “F” message about perfection.

gifted perfectionistWhen Your Child is a Perfectionist: Advice from the Trenches ~ My Little Poppies (Caitlin Curley)

Leo is a perfectionist and, as a perfectionist, he is afraid of failure to the point of complete immobilization. He will assess a new situation, determine his risk for failure, and refuse to participate if he doesn’t think he can immediately do it well. We have been dealing with Leo’s perfectionism for years now and I have a feeling it is something we will continue to work on as the years progress. So, what has worked? While I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, I am happy to share strategies that have worked for this school-psychologist-and–mom-to-a-major-perfectionist.

gifted perfectionistWhite Poodle, Black Poodle ~ Sprite’s Site (Jo Freitag)

Poodles can be white as well as black and, in the same way, perfectionism can be both positive and negative.



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