Tantrums are to be expected from every child. It doesn’t matter if it’s over losing their favorite toy or not getting the food they wanted. Most parents are used to their children’s sudden crying and random outbursts. But did you know that some tantrums aren’t just childish fits but rather an extension of perfectionism?

You might not realize it, but some habits kids display early in their lifetime are symptoms of perfectionism. Things like having difficulty finishing a project or being extremely sensitive to failure are critical signs of a perfectionist child.

What is Perfectionism in Gifted Students Like?

Research shows that according to the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), around 20% of gifted children suffer from compulsive perfectionism. It’s the kind that causes severe problems in their lives, making them prone to their immaculate train of thought.

Although not every gifted student showcases a perfectionist attitude. This is because there are quite a few factors that come into play when dealing with such a disorder. Mainly, it has to do with children attaching all their self-worth to certain achievements. When faced with hurdles, they either give up completely or fixate on the problem in a rather unhealthy manner.

Here are some common child perfectionism symptoms:

  • Anxious about failing or not doing good
  • Sensitive to criticism
  • Easily Frustrated
  • Low tolerance for mistakes
  • Self-critical & Self-conscious
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Inability to prioritize tasks
  • Unable to complete tasks due to not being good enough

Are Gifted People All Perfectionists?

No. Not every gifted child is a perfectionist. Some who do fall down this path are triggered by childhood achievements. From an early age, gifted students have the capacity to excel in multiple fields. That, too, without striving too hard for it. It comes naturally to them at first. But when they grow up and start to fall behind, their defense mechanism kicks in.

This enables them to clutch onto whatever means they can and achieve the same results they once were capable of. The cycle of constantly trying their best and running after perfection causes them immense emotional turmoil, along with other major issues.

That is why children with perfectionist tendencies need to be enrolled in a school that understands and caters to their needs.

Types of Perfectionism

Unfortunately, there isn’t just one type of perfectionism. Some aspects are adaptive, which means they can be beneficial in life. Others are dangerous and maladaptive. It could stunt their growth. Here are the three categories of perfectionists according to researchers:

  • Self-oriented Perfectionism
    Based on setting unrealistic expectations for the person.
  • Socially-Prescribed Perfectionism
    It is fueled by the unnecessarily high expectations others set for the person, such as mentors, parents, peers, etc.
  • Other-oriented Perfectionism
    Based on the notion of holding other people to a high pedestal and unrealistic expectations.

The Final Takeaway

Our aim at Rainard School for Gifted Students is to make education accessible for everyone, regardless of their developmental abilities. If you think your child is neurodivergent and a perfectionist, the best course of action is to enroll them in a specialized school with experienced staff. To offer your child the best course of education, head to our campus in Houston at 11059 Timberline Road, opposite The Branch School. You can also call us at 713-647-7246 for more information on classes, schedule, and timing.