August 24, 2009

A Long Year


Tomorrow is the first day of Kindergarten for my 5 year old. Today was her Kindergarten assessment. We went in. She was shy. No surprise. It takes her a little while to warm up to new people and new situations. But she can handle it.

What, apparently, she cannot handle is homework. Yes, her teacher sent homework before school officially started. It was a piece of paper with 5 lines and her name written in highlighter at the top. The assignment was to practice writing her name. No big deal, right? 2 hours, much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth later and it was finished.

There is one major problem. She is a perfectionist. If she can't do it perfectly, she isn't willing to do it at all. I have seen her throw away countless pictures nearly completed because she messed up and couldn't stand it not to be perfect. I tried to explain that every one has to practice to get good at things like writing. There is a 'g' in her name and that is her downfall. So I suggested getting a piece of scratch paper an practicing until she felt confident. She responded by collapsing into a heap of despair.

I can't wait for more complicated homework.

Any advice?

15 comments:

Debbie said...

Good luck. I have no sound advice for ya, but I'm thinking of you none the less.

Melissa Bastow said...

My six year old is just like that! Like today when we were doing piano lessons, and I was like, "Ok, why don't you play through these new songs so I know you understand how they go." I had to send her to her room wailing - it was like I had asked her eat a live scorpian. Does it help if your daughter can practice stuff without anyone watching? Sometimes that helps my daughter.....ok, rarely, but still, it's something.

Emmy said...

I wish I knew what to tell you, but my son is quite the same. He often will just refuse to do something, rather than fail.
I play the flute and piano and so I try and talk with him about how I had to practice and for how many years I have been doing it. I also try and point out whenever I mess up and say, shoot I will just have to try next time.
And I wish I knew what show it was.. but there was one of his little kid shows that he has seen and since it, he has been saying.. if I want to get better at something I have to practice.
If I figure it out I will let you know. But just keep going, make sure you point out when you fail and good luck!

Melissa Bastow said...

P.S. Have I ever told you that I love your Mr. Darcy/Edward button? Because it's awesome.

Jillybean said...

I have a one like that too.
I suggest bribery. We would offer an m&m or fishy cracker for every each word written (or math problem or whatever) I think this makes them think about getting the work finished to get the reward, rather than having anxiety over getting it right.

heather said...

Good luck with that.

Chief said...

Hey, I'm not sure there is a canned answer for your problem. Each kid is different. Eventually, maybe the fact that the homework HAS TO GET DONE, will help her to accept her first or second draft.

Does she get this perfectionism from you? hehe

Kristina P. said...

JIllybean is a genius.

InkMom said...

Ditto Kristina P. I'll be trying that one, since I've got a perfectionist on my hands as well. Hmmm . . . wonder where he gets that little characteristic?!?

Momza said...

Having lived to tell the story, here's what's going to happen:
It won't fly with the teacher. Lessons are timed...45-50 minutes for spelling, 60 minutes for Math...if her work isn't finished in that time, the teacher will keep her in from recess to work on it. Great motivation to hurry along and get it done! You'll see, that perfectionism will lose to monkey bars! No worries!

Carolyn said...

My oldest is just like that. She's 11 now and I can't tell you how many hours I have spent standing over her while she melts into a puddle of tears and anger. My best advice is to stay calm and tell her that she just needs to do her best, she won't listen at first but if she can't do anything else until the homework is done usually it gets finished. Sometimes you just have to walk away.

Linds said...

Hope her first day went well. I wish my son was more of a perfectionist so I can't help you there!

pan x 8 said...

My 2nd grader is like that but so am I. I tried to use my own experiences to help talk them through it. I tried timing her and gave her 10 min to do her best and she'd have to accept it. It worked FINALLY and we found out homework was more fun and much less time consuming.

Once my daughter started Kindergarten and the teacher praised her for all her work she stopped being such a "perfectionist" and started enjoying...

Hope that helps.. my 5-yr-old is starting Kindergarten next Thurs... let's all pray for that one! ;p

janae said...

Oh man, I am soooo not excited for my kids to grow up. Please stay little forever!

Erin said...

Let us know if Jillybean's advice worked! I hope she figures out the "g" soon!

Copyright Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug

Meaning all content on this blog is mine. So you better not steal it. Seriously.