Tammy - posted on 05/24/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )
My daughter is 7 years old, and in second grade. We have frequently run into situations with her where, if she's wrong about something she's so hard on herself about it. We've explained to her that being gifted is just a talent and doesn't mean you're right all the time. We've had this conversation over and over again. We've even explained to her that if she didn't do so well on a test, we'd still love her the same as we do now, and that she's still gifted even when she makes a mistake.
Today, I get an email from her teacher in the middle of the day. Apparently they were taking a math final and the teacher caught her cheating - using a calculator! I'm just astonished because math is her best subject by a long shot, even her teacher couldn't believe it, as the teacher puts it - she's a gifted mathematician. I asked her why she did it, and she said she was afraid to be wrong. The teacher said the problems on the test were skills that she had mastered long ago.
We sat her down and explained to her that what we want most from her is to try her best, and to work hard. Good grades are one thing, but if you make a mistake now and again, it's ok. We also explained that if she's caught cheating it makes people doubt what her real talents are. What more can I do to help her realize she's not expected to be perfect??