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Old 03-26-2009, 01:22 PM   #1
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Default Is this normal 5 year old behavior?

My dd, firstborn, was happily making a book by practicing her letters and then drawing pictures. She got SO upset over a tiny mistake she made when coloring one of her stick firgures' hair. I'm talking BIG TIME upset. She threw her marker and paper and said, "It's just a big blob and I can't do it right. I can never write anything right." ?!?!? What does this mean? She's in kindergarten and I have observed that she seems to be very hard on herself with certain things. I told her not to worry about it and to just draw another one- this was obviously NOT what she wanting to hear. Is this normal for a 5 year old to act this way? I mean geesh, it's just a drawing. What will be be like when she's a teenager?
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:29 PM   #2
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I cannot say whether it is normal or not, but my 5YO is also very hard on himself in the same manner.

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Old 03-26-2009, 02:04 PM   #3
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I've heard that this happens to children who are "perfectionists". For some reason any mistake bothers them because it isn't perfect. They feel pressure to perform at their best in everything at all times.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:35 PM   #4
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I think this is normal 5 year old girl behavior. My dd did this last year too...she would want it perfect and if it wasn't she would get so upset. I just kept explaining to her that with time she would get it and it would become easier to do. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:31 PM   #5
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Is it recurring or escalating behavior?
My kids would "melt down" when they were getting sick, overtired, upset about something.... and usually over the smallest thing. It was the "small straw" that broke the camel's back. The actual "thing" was usually ridiculous - but there was always more behind it.

If it's an isolated or occasional event - I say normal.

If it is escalating, constant or "perfectionism" gone wild, then I would talk to her teacher and get her opinion.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:50 PM   #6
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Depending on the severity of the perfectionism, it is a typical trait among gifted children. Since they have an advanced understanding of how things `should be', they are often extremely frustrated when their bodies cannot perform what their brain is expecting. Not saying that is what is happening, but it's something to watch for.
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:04 PM   #7
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My 6 yr old DD is like this also, she gets so very frustrated, crying frustrated when her drawings are not perfect. She has other little things about her personality like that too - I actually worry that she might be a little OCD. I joke about it sometimes, but I worry it may become a real issue with her as she gets older. There is the thing with her pictures, in her Kindergarten class, when they hang the colored pictures on the wall, I can always spot hers, but she is always the last to finish, and usually bringing papers home she didn't have time to do.

The other thing is, she CANNOT tell a lie, not that I want her too, but she is brutally honest with people, and she knows its not nice to say certain things, like about someones appearance, or something that may hurt another persons feelings, and she will even cry right after saying something, because she knows it is mean, but she HAS to get it out.

Anyway, I feel your pain Hopefully it is something that will balance itself out as she gets older!
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:46 AM   #8
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My DD (now is sort of a perfectionist. I think that your DS's behavior is normal - for some kids. All kids are different. I think once a kid starts school -- they go through a change -- even if they went to pre-school. Pre-school is less structured - and less about doing things 'right' or 'wrong'. When kids start kindergarten -- they have peers that tell them that the 'work' they just did is 'not right'... teachers begin the process of showing them the 'right' way to write letters, draw shapes, cut out pictures, etc. I think that some kids (depending on ther personality) take this to heart - and think that if something doesn't turn out EXACTLY like what they pictured in their head -- then it is WRONG, and that being wrong is the same as NOT being RIGHT - rather than just being 'different' than what they expected.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swain78 View Post
My 6 yr old DD is like this also, she gets so very frustrated, crying frustrated when her drawings are not perfect. She has other little things about her personality like that too - I actually worry that she might be a little OCD. I joke about it sometimes, but I worry it may become a real issue with her as she gets older. There is the thing with her pictures, in her Kindergarten class, when they hang the colored pictures on the wall, I can always spot hers, but she is always the last to finish, and usually bringing papers home she didn't have time to do.

The other thing is, she CANNOT tell a lie, not that I want her too, but she is brutally honest with people, and she knows its not nice to say certain things, like about someones appearance, or something that may hurt another persons feelings, and she will even cry right after saying something, because she knows it is mean, but she HAS to get it out.

Anyway, I feel your pain Hopefully it is something that will balance itself out as she gets older!

Awww! lol
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:47 AM   #10
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Totally typical in my house . . .my 6yo kindergarten daughter got so upset when she circled the wrong thing in homework, would get upset if she made a b or d backwards. I assured her that we all make mistakes, that you are "allowed" to make mistakes. She stated that she was going to first grade next year, and in first grade you aren't allowed to make mistakes.

She also didn't believe me that her teacher at one point had to learn how to read and write. I think she wants to do everything as well as everyone else. I try to point out mistakes I make during my day to help her understand that we are not all perfect.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:53 AM   #11
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my 9 yo son has been this way his whole life. It is normal behavior BUT you need to stem it early.

my son is now sooooooooo bad that if something isn't right he can barely function. seriously. we have worked tirelessly to get him to understand that the point of school is NOT to make all 100's on everything but to LEARN something NEW.

it's starting to sink in and we are seeing an improvement and honestly, sports have helped a lot.

it has also helped him to see us acknowledge our mistakes and take it all in stride.

when mom and dad aren't perfect either, it takes the pressure off of him.

we allow him to see us make mistakes and CORRECT mistakes, we let the kids see us argue a bit (so they understand that not everybody gets along perfectly all the time and even tho we argue and disagree we still love each other)

and I think all of that is important for them to understand that perfection isn't the measure of worth. kwim?

((hugs))

kids who are perfectionists can be a challenge.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:30 AM   #12
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Yep, normal 5yo behavior around here at least!
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Old 03-27-2009, 03:12 PM   #13
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Seems fairly normal to the degree you are describing.... both my kids, ages 17 and 11, did similar things, and they've made out OK. They are both very good students. Once in a while, still, especially with my 11 y o DD, a teacher will mention how she is so hard on herself for making a small mistake. I feel weird because I always think they are implying that I am pushing them her too hard. I don't push her hard at all, just the usual parent monitoring stuff. So be prepared, it might never fully go away, but it's not a bad thing if a part of that sticks around!
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:29 AM   #14
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LOL speaking from experience- i am 29, and still get frustrated when the idea in my head doesn't translate well onto paper.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:32 PM   #15
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LOL, now that I think about it, the phrase "normal kid behavior" is kind of funny in and of itself.... is there any such thing?
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:40 PM   #16
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My 11 yo DD is fairly hard on herself too. I have to tell her that she is in school to learn. If she knew it all now, she'd be working! That helps her smile, take a deep breath and step back. My 10 yo DD is the opposite and just lets life unfold willy-nilly! And I agree with Cynamom . . . normal? What's that ~ regardless of the age!
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:06 PM   #17
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She sounds like a perfectionist. When my dd was 4yo, she and a 9yo friend were drawing.

"Let's draw horses." -- 9yo's drawing looked like a horse.
"Let's draw cats." 9yo's drawing looked like a cat.

Both of my dd's drawings looked alike. She didn't throw anything, but decided it was time to do something else. Up until that time she drew constantly from the age of 2. From then on we couldn't *bribe* her to draw! Not until this past summer -- at the age of 7yo did she again begin drawing.

She's still hard on herself in other areas, but since I homeschool we can monitor her as we teach her to cope with frustration.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:31 PM   #18
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I have a 10 yr old DS, 6 yr old DD, and a 3 yr old DD....and it sounds normal to me. They grow out of it and then do something else! It seems like it is always something!
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