Son who can't stand to get anything wrong!!!

(6 Posts)
wonderstuff100 Mon 09-May-16 19:17:23

Literally at the end of my tether with my six year old son and have no idea what to do. He freaks out whenever he loses/gets the tiniest thing wrong. His spellings every week, he can't bear to hear if he gets them wrong and claims he didn't spell them like he wrote them (eg I didn't put that extra r on there!!! SOB SOB!!!)

He also can't bear to lose and gives up so easily if he can't do something. Also can't take the slightest bit of criticism. He was also told today by his teacher that he was getting too chatty and he was inconsolable. He's very sensitive about every bit of criticism but it's not like we all shout and scream at him. We say it's just because we know you can do better.

I've tried reading books about being a perfectionist, watching TV shows, talking about it, showing him his past work and seeing how far he's come and we're now nearly at the end of year 2, and he's still freaking out about it when I thought he'd grow out of it.

Please someone tell me what to do! It breaks my heart to see him freak out but I literally have no idea what else to do, and he can't go through life with people lying to him saying he got 10/10 on a spelling test for fear of upsetting him!!

MilkRunningOutAgain Tue 10-May-16 09:18:14

My DS was much the same in KS1. He's now 13 and although it's not so pronounced it's still a problem. He argued with his Yr 1 teacher for many years about spelling tests, the fact that she marked a spelling wrong when he had written a different word was still a bone of contention in yr 5. I did talk to him a lot about needing to try new things, having to practise things and how normal it is for everyone to take time to understand new things and his teacher would much rather he tried and got it wrong than gave up. The argument that has worked best with him is that he's at school for many years, there's no way anyone expects him to know everything while he's 6 , 7 or whatever age he is. And I have made sure he knows that adults learn too, and get things wrong sometimes. Actually secondary school has helped as he now understands that not getting 100% is OK, a B is a good grade. His primary generally gave him work he could get 100% right, which just made the issue worse, at secondary he can see his peers don't usually get 100% too, it makes getting it wrong more acceptable. Anyway good luck, for DS it's taken time and patience and his gradually increasing maturity for it to work out.

paxillin Tue 10-May-16 09:36:12

Talk to him about perectionism. Tell him nobody is error free. Watch football or tennis and point out the best player on earth and how even they make mistakes.

I'd also practice losing. Don't let him win board games for peace. Try a game like Jenga or Boom Boom Balloon, where the loser gets the fun part and work your way up to chess.

Celebrate beating a high score, practice spelling 10 words, 5 wrong, do it again, celebrate 8 right.

paxillin Tue 10-May-16 09:38:21

perfectionism. Just to show I can make mistakes gracefully.

Lara2 Tue 10-May-16 13:30:16

Also try praising his effort - he sounds like he's only concerned with the result, not the effort it takes to get there. Even if you know he can do better, give it a go for a while.

SmileAndNod Tue 10-May-16 13:40:07

This sounds like my son. I wish I knew how to help him as I'm the same. Nothing I do is ever good enough. I would rather not try than try and fail at something. It's a miserable way to be sometimes (though does make you rather determined which isn't always a bad quality).
I have to be honest and it is difficult for me to do but I'm trying to praise effort rather than achievement, even though he is achieving well at the moment not everything will come easily and you need to put the work in.
I do sometimes wish I hadn't buggered up my kids lives by being their mother ...

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