And the gifted child
Perfectionism can be
observed in even very young gifted children because of the lack
of synchrony between their intellectual and physical development.
For example, a three year old gifted child can see in her five year
old mind what she wants to build, but her three year old fingers
cannot do it and so she screams in frustration.
The gap between a child's
advanced intellectual capability and more age-appropriate social
and physical skills can lead to unrealistic expectations for performance
by both gifted children and their parents and teachers.
Adults expecting social
maturity to match high level intellectual development may label
a highly articulate, logical child as a behaviour problem when he
or she exhibits an age-appropriate tantrum.
And the gifted adult
can also be applied to the gifted self. Ideal standards of thinking
and behaviour are set that propel gifted people towards higher level
problems can arise when they are not able to live up to these standards
and blame themselves for not being good enough.
people rarely realistically compare themselves with others. Instead
they tend to think of what they know in relation to what there is
to know on any given subject and find themselves lacking. They are
highly self critical and over reactive to the criticism of others.
They express dissatisfaction with themselves; they see what "ought
to be" in themselves and they can be unhappy with "what is". They
have a vision of perfectionism that they measure themselves against
and they can become despondent sometimes even depressed, at their
To be effective in life,
gifted people need to understand that it is OK to be an idealist
but that resources, including time, are not unlimited and therefore
perfection is not possible. Also, that while ability may be innate,
skills are built up over time by experience. It is important for
their self-development that gifted people explore the process of
learning in life and not only focus on the outcome of specific events.