Melissa - posted on 04/18/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )
I am having a problem with my 10-yr-old son. Usually, he is very well-adjusted and happy, except when it comes to making mistakes. He is extremely sensitive, and has ridiculously perfectionistic expectations of himself. Anytime he is reprimanded, which is very infrequently, he takes his frustration out on himself by hitting himself in the head with his fists or pulling out his hair. Even for something as minute as getting a time-out for arguing with his brother! During these episodes, he often will make self-deprecating comments about what a terrible person he is. This breaks my heart, because nothing could be further from the truth! I am concerned that this might lead to more extreme self-punishment in the future, like cutting, or abusing drugs or alcohol. His school counselor said I should talk to him about making better choices, but not make too big of a deal out of it, because I could unintentionally encourage the behavior. I know this is somewhat common in highly gifted kids, but I'm unsure what more I can or should do. Have any of you parents experienced the same issue?