Susan Daniels and Michael Peichowski, in Living with Intensity, state that:
Our highly excitable children’s drive for perfect performance is where their intellectual intensity intersects with their emotional development. The field of gifted education is replete with means to accommodate children’s intellectual needs, but a child’s intellectual overexcitability signals a need for more holistic supportive responses form parents and teachers – ones that encompass and nurture their affective and emotional development, self-concept, self-esteem, and self-discipline as well.
Perfectionism in the pursuit of excellence can be a valuable driving force. A healthy pursuit of excellence means doing the best you can with the time and tools you have, and then moving on. Unhealthy perfectionism leaves one continually dissatisfied, as the work is never “good enough.”
A significant number of gifted children, perhaps as many as 20% suffer from perfectionism to the degree that is creates problems for them.