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Give Yourself Some Latitude

Christina learnt to “give herself some latitude”. As a perfectionist, she engaged in negative self-talk that diminished her self-belief. She set up such exacting expectations of her performance that she became bogged down in the detail. For her, “the desire to do things perfectly” was an impossible standard that needed to be challenged.

Joan Freeman says, “Pressure to succeed can cripple the gifted with perfectionism.” While perfectionism is not necessarily an indication of giftedness, it is a common tendency in gifted children; but it can stunt personal growth.

This pressure can be internalised. Gifted children who are already emotionally sensitive to others can suppress their own passions in their aim to please. It is worth observing how much a gifted child seeks constant approval and reassurance. If the gifted child cannot live up to their own high standards, feelings of failure and inadequacy may lead to despondency. Joanne Foster says that perfectionism can also lead to procrastination.

But a change of attitude allowed Christina to give herself some latitude. It happened when she “looked down at her messy boots and a tiny smile tinkered on the edge of her lips”. Rather than berating herself when the story reaches the disaster zone, she sees new possibilities. The cogs turning in her brain are almost visible. Now she has a new determination, a new thought process, a new path going forward. Her resilience is emboldened. Her adventurous spirit is freed. She has given herself some latitude!


Latitude and Longitude


Latitude and longitude are invisible lines drawn on maps to pinpoint your position on earth.

  • Find an atlas or globe, or go to Google maps and discover the continent, country or state where you live. Follow the horizontal lines of latitude and vertical lines of longitude and write down the co-ordinates of where they meet at your place.

  • Christina lives in Kenya, Africa. Locate her home on your map and write down the co-ordinates for her place.


Daytime and night-time happen because the earth rotates on its own axis, every 24 hours. When the place where you live is facing the sun, it is daytime. When your home is facing away from the sun, it is night-time. When it is daytime at your place, it is night-time at a place on the other side of the globe.

  • Make two signs – one for daytime and one for night-time.

  • Record the time you wake up in the morning. Place the daytime sign on your home on your map.

  • Work out if it is daytime or night-time for Christina in Kenya.


Make some temperature signs, e.g. hot, cold. Generally speaking, the hot zones are closest to the Equator, while the coldest are at the North or South Poles.

  • What is the weather like at your place in August? Attach the appropriate sign to your map.

  • Christina lives close to the Equator. Compare and contrast the August temperature of where you live with Christina’s home in Kenya.


Pretend the time is 7am at your place in August.

  • Draw two pictures, side by side – one for you and one for Christina.

  • Use your signs from Activity 2 to show whether it is daytime or night-time in each picture.

  • Use your signs from Activity 3, to show whether it is hot or cold in each picture.

  • What activity would you be doing at 7am? What activity would Christina be doing in Kenya?

Complete your pictures and explain them to someone else.


References: Foster, Joanne Ed.D. (2017). Bust Your Buts: Tips for Teens Who Procrastinate. Great Potential Press, Inc. pp38-44.Freeman, Joan as cited by Joseph Cardillo Ph.D. “Gifted Lives: What Happens When Gifted Children Grow Up? (Part Two). Donge, Gloria (2017). Colour My Boots in The Gifted Kid Book Series.


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