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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 395
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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My child is very particular about certain things, such as

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My child is very particular about certain things, such as her socks having to be pulled up just right, her belt having to be so tight, doesn't like her door closed, is somewhat inattentive in class and any little noise bothers her. If someone in class makes a noise, it breaks her concentration. She is a very logically thinking little girl. She is just over 7 years old. She is very smart and gets good grades, but she hardly ever gets to play outside at school because she is inside doing work. She works fast and efficient when she is by herself
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.

Hello there,

I think your daughter
does all those things to avoid feeling anxious. It sounds like she is a
perfectionist. Wanting to be perfect causes her anxiety. When
did this behavior started? Sometimes children will outgrow this as they learn
to calm themselves down. One exercise I
do with children is to tell them that sometimes school or work gets stressful
for everyone. I ask them to visualize a pet or a place they love when they
become anxious. For 7 year olds I tell them to do this when they get that funny
feeling in their stomach, (or for her when the noise of others becomes loud). She
may be stressed out about school even if she is doing really well and gets good
grades. Have you talked with her about how she likes school and if she has any
friends? You can help her by praising her when she does behaviors that are not
perfectionistic, such as saying I like when your socks are down. I also suggest
the book the highly sensitive child.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She has been this way since last year, or more so. She had a very strict teacher, but this year she has a very fun teacher. I am a perfectionist myself, and I want her to do good, but I also know that putting a bunch of pressure on her isn't the answer. She is very smart and very analytical, and I love that about her. Is there anything I can do, or say, to her teacher to help her understand how my daughter learns? She is often the last one done, or stays in at recess to finish her work. She also gets in trouble a lot for talking, usually to make others be quiet.
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.

Hello there,

Thanks for letting know. I think you can tell the teacher what you told me. You can tell her how your daughter is a perfectionist and works well with a lot of praise and encouragement. Does your daughter needs more structure from the teacher? If so tell her that she works well with structure in the classroom. If she is distructed the teacher may want to try to put her in the frond of the class. Maybe she needs a bit more help and I am not sure if there is after school help or tutoring. You can tell your daughter that it is ok that she needs extra time to finish her work. It is normal for some people to want to do a good job and take longer. I also wonder what help has the school provided to support your daughter's education. You can ask the teacher how "we can help her improve?". Is there anything I can do at home? Is there something than can be done at school without taking away from lunch? She probably talks because she wants to socialise. She does not get to socialise at lunch. Good luck with this. IF you get no results keep making appointments with the teacher to problem-solve. If she needs more help the school has to provide it. Also you may want to suggest testing by a psychologist to see if you have a gifted child or a child that learns differently and what help she needs.

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