Perfectionism and Other Emotional Issues in Gifted Children

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?


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Chet - posted on 07/24/2013




Perfectionism is common in gifted individuals. One thing to keep in mind while you're dealing with your son is that perfectionist children who set high standards for themselves tend to do much better (are happier, better adjusted, etc) than perfectionist children who feel pressure to please other people. I would avoid situations where you punish or praise your son to get him to produce the behaviour you're looking for. Rather, talk to him making a better choice next time, and have him figure out how to set things right when he makes a mistake.

Lisa - posted on 07/15/2013




Have you heard of the indigo children, they are extremely sensirive children, not only to words, but to energy as well. if someone is anxious or depressed, and he is around them, he will feel what they feel. Here is an Indigo test, perhaps you will resonate with some of the Questions. Love and Light Lisa.

Please see the post that was removed below:
Here we go with the ADD again. Many people who have been coming in since 1946 came in with the indigo ray, the one thing they took on as a life challenge is add or Adhd, here is a test. look at the questions, does it apply to your child. if so, speak to him or her in the eyes and keep it a normal tone whatever you do.

Indigo Child Test

1. Does your child expect to be treated as an equal instead of a child?

2. Is your child easily, emotionally triggered?

3. Does your child have difficulty with discipline and authority?

4. Is your child frustrated with ritual-oriented systems that require little creativity?

5. Does your child have a gentle, sensitive, spirit and caring heart?

6. Does your child have food or environmental sensitivities?

7. Does your child dislike being rushed or not seem to have a sense of time in a traditional way?

8. Does your child have an interest in spiritual things?

9. Does your child appear to be an old soul or wise beyond their years?

10. Does your child seem to have a very creative imagination or to be a daydreamer?

11. Did your child come into the world with an attitude?

12. Does your child refuse to do certain things they are told to do?

13. Is your child a non-conformist?

14. Does your child see better ways of doing things at home and at school?

15. Is homework a source of conflict in your home?

16. Does your child appear to have a short attention span and at other times incredible focus?

17. Is your child particularly creative in areas of art, music, science and/or technology?

18. Does your child display intuition or knowledge of things that are unexplainable?

19. Did your child display an early ability and desire to learn and appear to be very intelligent in some areas?

20. Does your child talk to or about “imaginary” friends or see things that you cannot?

21. Does your child refuse to respond to parenting techniques that were used on you as a child?

22. Does your child have a strong interest in the environment and other living creatures?

23. Does your child have trouble getting to sleep or have night terrors?

If you answered yes to more than 14 questions you are probably parenting an Indigo or are an Indigo. If your score is above 19 you are almost definitely parenting an Indigo Child. This Quiz in has been developed from a combination of people including: Lee Carol, Jan Tober, Doreen Virtue, Jan Yordy, and Vicki Lass.

However, the year is incorrect, Nancy Ann Tappe first saw the indigo aura around a child in 1980, and assumed that was the year it began, the truth is they have always been here, Jesus Christ was an Indigo Soul. The first wave of indigos began incarnating in 1946. After japan was bombed.

Ginger - posted on 04/22/2012




Well, maybe studing some self soothing techniqes and teaching them to your son may help. Maybe a lesson on nature and how everything is different but exeptional. That helped me when I was young. When I got into science and learning the idea of trial and error in relation to the scientific process it strongly reinforced my ability to recognize that sometimes an error is simply a lesson on doing better in the future and something to be thankful to learn from, not a reason to be mad. I don't know how you feel about religion, but maybe that would help too. I am sure as long as you continue to let him know you love and support him and talk in a calm voice when he is freaking out he will grow out of it. Like just make sure you don't deny his feelings (that usually made me freak out more when I was younger) Just aknowlage the feeling that he is unhappy with whatever and tell him it will be ok and was a learing experience and he can beat himself up or he can spend that energy more productivly by working on a solution. That seems to work wonders for my kid and worked for me. I hope that helps.

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