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Hoagies' Blog Hop: Perfectionism

Perfectionism. What is it? What does it look like? What can we do about it, as parents? As perfectionists? Or is it a good thing?

Perfection? Is this a goal, or something to avoid at all costs? Will it challenge you or stifle you?

How can we help those we love who struggle with perfectionism? Our kids? Come to think of it, how can we help ourselves first?

Don't miss our previous Blog Hops on related topics, including Overexcitabilities (OEs) and Overthinking.

To read all our past Blog Hops or join our next Blog Hop, visit Blog Hops for all our past and future topics. Special thanks to Pamela S. Ryan for our striking Blog Hop graphics!

Abandoning Perfectionism by Gail Post in Gifted Challenges
This word, perfection - and, of course, the meaning it entails - results in suffering for those who strive to achieve and believe that they fall short. Those who believe their self-worth hinges on their accomplishments become entangled in the thought processes and behaviors of perfectionism...
Perfectionism on the Sly by Heather, The Fringy Bit
Perfectionism really can be boiled down to this . . . anxiously caring more than is necessary for something of relatively little consequence.

Does anyone care if you received a 3.8 or a 3.4 gpa once youíve moved out of the academic world? Nope. In my 10+ years as a psychotherapist, only 1 person has even asked me where I went to grad school. No one has asked me how well I did while there.

Will people storm out of my home in disgust when they see the dried paint drips down the wall of our newly redecorated office? Hasnít happened yet. I canít imagine anyone has even noticed them except myself....
When Perfectionism, Anxiety, and Giftedness Go to College by Paula Prober, Your Rainforest Mind
Ellen was a fast talking, deep feeling, super insightful 20 year old. She'd been a high achiever throughout her public school years. The work was easy. She could listen to one teacher while she did her homework for another. She was conscientious and energetic. Curious and imaginative.

She was also anxious. Her active rainforest mind came up with so many worries and then worried about her worrying. She was also a perfectionist. She had an innate desire to create beauty, harmony, justice, and precision...
Your Messy Kid Might Be a Perfectionist by Heather in WonderSchooling
Perfectionism, like so many things, doesn't always look the way we expect it to.

Sometimes, perfectionism looks like someone spending hours and hours laboring over draft after draft, making sure everything is just exactly so, but for some, especially those who deal with executive function difficulties, it may look exactly the opposite.

It may look like scribbling, because he knows no matter how hard he tries he won't get it completely within the lines, so it's easier to not try in the first place than to spend time and effort and then be disappointed...
Perfect is the Enemy of Finished by Linda Wallin, Living with Geniuses
One of the most common characteristics of individuals in gifted families is perfectionism. The ability to imagine wonderful things can be a strength. When a two-year old begins to walk, he can see how itís done, but may be frustrated and angry that he canít do it well. Nevertheless, she will keep trying until she masters the skill. Imagining a perfect world has been a challenge for every generation ever, fairly recently by John Lenin. When you go to the dentist or ophthalmologist, you want a perfectionist providing the services.

Unfortunately, perfectionism can be a problem, as well. In writing, it can cause hesitation or procrastination. In relationships, it can cause nagging or criticism. My own mother in her 90s wondered why none of her three children had become tech millionaires. I told her to look at what her children were doing - my younger brother was building low-income housing for the poor, I was teaching special education in public schools and technology in education at a nearby university, and my older brother was a database manager for a large corporation. We werenít slackers! What my mother couldnít see was the meaning our jobs gave our lives...
Letting Go Of Perfect: A Book Review by Gift-Ed Connections
One of my "go to" books when I get questions about how to support students with perfectionism is Letting Go of Perfect by Jill Adelson, PhD., and Hope Wilson, PhD., (2009). In addition to discriminating between healthy and unhealthy perfectionism, they also explore the myths about perfectionism before going into detail into the types of perfectionism and strategies for working with each type. Now while I typically don't ascribe to thinking that tries to categorize individuals, mostly because people rarely fit neatly into boxes, I have found that these categories have been helpful in understanding the nuances of perfectionism, and offer a great starting point for discussing potential strategies for students who may be struggling. The book is well laid out for easy access to different themes and includes strategies for both home and school, making it very accessible to both teachers and parents...
Be ye therefore perfect by Jen, repurposed genealogy
It is easy for me, as a gifted person, to get stuck with a fixed mindset. I want to be the best at everything. I am used to being better than average at most things, and I have a difficult time not beating myself up when I don't master a new skill immediately. I've always wanted to be perfect.

But, I'm not perfect, and it really bothers me...

To read all our past Blog Hops or join our next Blog Hop, visit Blog Hops for our past and future topics.  Special thanks to Pamela S. Ryan for our striking Blog Hop graphics!

Updated December 01, 2020

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