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Concerned about 4 year old perfectionism

(5 Posts)
corkgirlindublin Thu 29-Jan-15 13:29:27

Hi guys,

My DD turned 4 a couple of weeks ago.I am concerned as she will not hold a pencil or marker and colour in or anything like that because she says she can't do it and it will be all wrong. She never learned to use a balance bike because she couldn't do it the first time and from there on refused because she "couldn't" do it.

I am so upset and frustrated with this. We put no pressure on her whatsoever but I want her to allow herself to try new things and I want her to understand that failing is all part of learning and there is no pressure on her to perform. She's a bright little girl with an advanced vocabulary and is very emotionally tuned in. She has been in Montessori for 18 months and it seems to be less of an issue there but I don't get feedback from them and am planning on speaking to them next week.

Has anyone experienced this and can anyone advise on ways to approach it?

Just as an aside, she has never had a tantrum, instead if she's unhappy with something the thumb goes in her mouth and she withdraws. Not sure if that is relevant or not!

Thanks in advance for any replies!

AlmaMartyr Thu 29-Jan-15 13:41:29

My DD is like this, the school said it's reasonably common in bright kids. DH is like it too tbh! We spent a lot of time talking to DD about how no-one does things perfectly first go - we were watching the 2012 Olympics and would chat about how hard all the medal winners would have worked to get there and how none of them would have been able to ride a bike straightaway etc. We also did a few reward charts for practising rather than achievement - so every time she practised her bike, regardless of how she did, she got a sticker and then a little present at 10 stickers. At some point she noticed she was improving as well. She's 6 and still a perfectionist but will put the effort in to learn now. Most of the time, anyway.

corkgirlindublin Thu 29-Jan-15 13:45:46

Thanks Alma. I really appreciate the reply. I love the idea of using a reward chart for practicing rather than for an end result. I'll give that a go!

She is my eldest and this is new territory for me but I wonder should children have a decent grasp at writing (i mean pen control rather than sensible words) by the time they start school?

If she goes in unable to do this will she be at a disadvantage?

Asleeponasunbeam Thu 29-Jan-15 13:58:41

Have a read of 'The Highly Sensitive Child' by Elaine Aron. It describes your daughter, and mine, very well!

She won't be at a disadvantage with her writing in reception (teacher and parent of a non-writing August born).

corkgirlindublin Thu 29-Jan-15 15:56:01

Thanks asleep. I've just ordered it off amazon.

Good to know she won't be at a disadvantage

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