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My 11 y.o. ds, Taro, is an emotional, sensitive kid. He doesn't do well with competition, or deadlines. He's also a perfectionist.<br><br>
Taro applied for a special youth course at the state U, which requires proof of his aptitude and achievement in math and science. We unschool, so I didn't really have the sort of data they want.<br><br>
He took an online biology test yesterday, and was all smiles, but a math test today had him in tears. He felt stressed, and "stupid," because he didn't know how to do some of the problems.<br><br>
I had offered (as I've always done) to explain anything he was confused about, and this test was not "official" or important in any meaningful way. He still freaked out, though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Dp commented later that maybe we don't pressure Taro enough-- that more practice at meeting deadlines and reaching objectives would thicken his skin (So to speak). He thinks that as Taro is getting older, perhaps some more external expectations would be a good idea.<br><br>
I disagree, but I'm not positive I'm right! I think Taro's reaction to pressure is a function of his personality, not our educational situation.<br><br>
Do your kids deal well with pressure? Do you think being "too relaxed" about education hinders kids' ability to learn how to deal?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>darien</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10316486"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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Dp commented later that maybe we don't pressure Taro enough-- that more practice at meeting deadlines and reaching objectives would thicken his skin (So to speak). He thinks that as Taro is getting older, perhaps some more external expectations would be a good idea.<br><br>
I disagree, but I'm not positive I'm right! I think Taro's reaction to pressure is a function of his personality, not our educational situation.<br><br>
Do your kids deal well with pressure? <span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:large;">Yes.</span></span>Do you think being "too relaxed" about education hinders kids' ability to learn how to deal? <span style="font-size:large;">No.</span></div>
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Imo, you're right, hubby is wrong. My experience has been opposite, and I think it has EVERYTHING to do with personality. I don't think an emotional, sensitive child with perfectionist tendencies would do well with a "skin thickening" program. Trust your instincts.<br><br>
I'm assuming it was his idea to apply for this program. I would keep talking to him about his expectations around the course and the application process until you can get more insight into what's stressing him.
 

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my son has severe anxiety and is sensitive. when he was in school he relly struggled with stress from pressure. NOw I make him do timed tests in math for me, mad minutes, etc just to get him used to working under pressure in a safe environment. I have seen a huge improvement in how he copes. We talk about strategies such as taking a couple deep breaths before beginning etc. It's not a lot on him, most of what he does is not on strict timelines but it is an area he needs practice in so I incorporate it in our day usually about once a week.
 

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I read what you're describing, swellmomma, as assisting in coping with an aspect of his personality that is interfering with him meeting his own goals ... very different from pressuring him to "thicken his skin." I guess I was reading op's dh's suggestion as some kind of "Test Taking Boot Camp" idea. Sorry, op, if I sounded harsh.
 

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Well, my 8yo can handle pressure, but not my 5yo. She breaks down crying when trying to decide between 2 toys in a store.....every single time! I can't imagine her trying to decide which bubble to fill in.LOL<br><br>
My 8 year old is also very competitive. My daughter avoids competition at all costs. Last year, we had a king cake and she wouldn't have a piece of it because she couldn't take the feeling of maybe not winning the crown. (you know, there's a small porcelein character in each pie....who knows who'll get it in their piece.) I told someone that she didn't like those cakes and she looked at me and said "I love those cakes, but I'm afraid I might not win." So, she just opted out.<br><br>
It's mostly personality I'm afraid.<br>
Lisa
 

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My ds did not deal well with pressure when he was younger. It's really only been the last, oh, 2 years maybe (he's 14.5 now) that he's been able to perform under any sort of pressure at all. Before that he would just collapse, refuse to do the work, or rush through it as quickly as possible doing as little as possible, or just have a little fit to himself (the pencil keeps breaking, the light is too bright, the birds outside are singing too loud, that cat is looking at me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> )<br><br>
We largely unschooled when ds was younger. I left him alone and never really put a lot of pressure on him. He's grown out of it, mostly. He still won't "perform" on command, but if something is important to him, he'll push himself incredibly hard. Pushing him doesn't accomplish anything.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alima</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10317598"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My ds did not deal well with pressure when he was younger. It's really only been the last, oh, 2 years maybe (he's 14.5 now) that he's been able to perform under any sort of pressure at all. Before that he would just collapse, refuse to do the work, or rush through it as quickly as possible doing as little as possible, or just have a little fit to himself (the pencil keeps breaking, the light is too bright, the birds outside are singing too loud, that cat is looking at me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> )<br><br>
We largely unschooled when ds was younger. I left him alone and never really put a lot of pressure on him. He's grown out of it, mostly. He still won't "perform" on command, but if something is important to him, he'll push himself incredibly hard. Pushing him doesn't accomplish anything.</div>
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You've described my 10 yr old to a T.**sigh** You give me some hope for the future. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I also agree that is is a function of their personality/tempermant. My 8yo has a lot of anxiety surrounding any kind of tests or assessments. He also gets devastated if he gets <i>anything</i> wrong. He could do 20 math problems, and if he even makes one mistake he calls himself stupid. Last year in ps they did <i>lots</i> of timed reading (why, I'm not sure... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">, but that's a whole other subject!) His teacher noticed that he made almost twice as many errors and his speed dropped by almost half when he knew he was being timed. His anxiety about all this is one of the reasons we chose to pull him out of school.<br><br>
I'm hoping he will grow out of it.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>swellmomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10316993"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">my son has severe anxiety and is sensitive. when he was in school he relly struggled with stress from pressure.</div>
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my son is this type of child too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> He has always been very laid back and slow at performing tasks. He gets anxious about things and is very sensitive. He would get stressed out from all the pressure in school too. We just started homeschooling again and will see how it goes this time around. I don't want to smother him but I do want him to be learning every day and I will expect him to keep pace in his core subjects.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SquibsNCrackers</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10316984"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Imo, you're right, hubby is wrong. My experience has been opposite, and I think it has EVERYTHING to do with personality. I don't think an emotional, sensitive child with perfectionist tendencies would do well with a "skin thickening" program. Trust your instincts.<br><br>
I'm assuming it was his idea to apply for this program. I would keep talking to him about his expectations around the course and the application process until you can get more insight into what's stressing him.</div>
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Yes to this whole post!<br><br>
I agree that it's more personality/temperament than anything, and rather than attempting to chisel away those aspects of our children's uniquenesses that are less convenient from a conventional school standpoint, I think we need to appreciate those aspects and just be supportive and patient as our children learn to be who they are.
 

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Well, why I agree that some people just handle stress better than others, I also agree that as parents we need to help our children learn to handle stress. Perhaps, op, that is what your dp meant. Not meaning to "thicken his skin" in a bad way, but was just his way of saying that y'all need to do something to help Taro handle the stress. Because no matter who you are or how you live, you're going to be pressured at some point and have stress and you need to know how to handle it.
 

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I have a 7 yr old like this, she is an extreme perfectionist as well, and is sensitive emotionally, etc. I remember when she was starting to get more interested in writing and was dabbling in it here and there, and my well meaning MIL got her a workbook with the dotted/dashed lines that you copy the letter. Well, dd 'bout had an aneurysm <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/splat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="splat"> when she realized she couldn't make her letters as "perfect" as she wanted to. I just didn't make a big deal of it, and let her doodle as much as she wanted on blank stuff, easels, chalkboards, etc. and pointed out the handwriting of her peers and that is what made her relax. I find that if I let her go at her own pace in her own way (with me helping/facilitating of course) then things are so much smoother...it is why unschooling works for us at this point.<br><br>
Even with swimming or something...she panics and refuses to let me float her on her back, when you back off and let her be she tries it herself...go figure.
 

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Taro was happy with himself before this test, right? point that out.<br><br>
don't let some test determine who you are.<br><br>
tell him if the materials on the test are so important then learn them. But don't let it affect how you feel about yourself or anything. life is too short to be stressed out about other people's perceptions of you.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lisarussell</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10334260"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Taro was happy with himself before this test, right? point that out.<br><br>
don't let some test determine who you are.<br><br>
tell him if the materials on the test are so important then learn them. But don't let it affect how you feel about yourself or anything. life is too short to be stressed out about other people's perceptions of you.</div>
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Yes to the above!
 
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