Sunday, October 24, 2010

Start the week off ight

I loved this article by Penelope Trunk about Perfectionism, you should read it. Apparently my little Ez is a bit of a perfectionist at school and it is causing some issues. His teacher says he is super smart and capable but wants to do things perfectly the first time and if he thinks he can't, he ends up in the quiet reading corner for quite awhile (once over 45 minutes), feeling very upset. So I have been thinking a lot about perfectionism and how to help Ez realize it's okay to make mistakes, which honestly I don't understand how he doesn't get that having a disorganized, slightly sloppy, wack job for me as a mom. Or maybe he is rebelling against just that, but I think he is too young for that kind of behavior. And then there is his wonderful dad who is a total perfectionist and just today after taking the worst pie he has ever made out of the oven (which of course is leagues better than my worst ever pie that a dog would likely retch at after smelling), and declaring what a bad pie it was and how disappointed that he was and on and on and on....And he was quite angry and I was hoping he would stop and lighten up and he never did. By this illustration, I am not saying it is Matt's fault that Ez is a perfectionist, and certainly the world is a better place with a few people like that out there but I think life is harder for perfectionists and so...

So lately I have been using a lot of meta cognitive strategies, talking aloud while I do something if I am struggling. Saying things like, "Hey, this is hard but I know that even though I don't have it right this time, the more I try I will get better." And "Gee, Whiz, this new uke tune is tricky, my fingers can barely get this chord and it sounds like noise, but eventually I will get better at it". And the slightly more obvious, " Ezzie, did you know that if you don't make mistakes you can't learn?" To which he nods.

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