Perfectionist Preschooler- help

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by savannah1991, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. savannah1991

    savannah1991 Rookie

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    Dec 6, 2016

    Hello

    So I have a 4 almost 5 year old child in my pre-k class. Everything she does, especially when it comes to art, has to be "perfect." Otherwise, it's "ruined" and "it sucks." Then an emotional fit of crying and screaming ensues, and it is super difficult to reason with her or help her calm down. For example, today we were playing with play doh, and I was working with them. I decided to make a bowl, and this child wanted to make the same thing as me. She asked for my help, so I told her how I made mine and let her go. She immediately became frustrated when her circle wasn't "perfect and like mine." I tried telling her that in art, not everything will look the same and that there are different ways of making things. I told her that if she was having fun working with the play doh then that's what truly matters. She called me a liar for saying there's no such thing as perfect. I tried to get her to take deep breaths so she can calm her body but she refused. This went on for at least 10 minutes. She gets so upset and frustrated with me so I end up having to walk away because I start to lose my patience and others need my attention.

    I obviously need some pointers on how to handle this child's outbursts when they happen and maybe how to prevent them as well. She's always been a perfectionist (she's been with me since she was 3 1/2), but these intense outbursts are new to me and I don't know how to handle them. I already make sure to focus on the process of an art activity and not the end result. I positively model how I handle mistakes. I'm not sure what else I can do!
     
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  3. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    Dec 7, 2016

    I'd maybe have all the kids do the same thing (like draw a bird or something random but everyone does the "same" art) and then hang them all up next to each other and point out how they all look different but they all look perfect
    or maybe not use the word perfect.
    But maybe she'll see how they all look different and that's okay.
    We recently got a reindeer & christmas tree coloring sheet from the librarian and I had my kids color them. One of the kids colored her reindeer brown and the tree green (the way "it's supposed to be") and pointed out the other kids' pages who used different colors. We took this opportunity to talk about how it's ok to use different colors and all the pages looked great! We don't care what it looks like as long as it looks "nice" and they all tried to color nicely (instead of doing one scribble and saying they were done).
     
  4. savannah1991

    savannah1991 Rookie

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    Dec 8, 2016

    I really like this idea but I fear that if I did this she would point out other's "mistakes" and cause conflict with the other children. She's very stubborn and everything she says is "right." She absolutely hates being corrected- I mean she will go OFF on you if you correct her on anything. I'm going to give it a try though. I'm willing to try anything!
     
  5. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    Dec 8, 2016

    If she does, I would just say how I love it the way it is and it's "perfect" in my eyes!
     
  6. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 19, 2016

    Try doing lots of open-end art with your class. It will be easy to talk about the differences in art that way. Also, if a student talked that way to me and acted out like that, I would be inclined to deal with her behaviors. She needs to know how to control herself or she won't make progress in her education.
     

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