Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feb13_Ship

Thank you to everyone who commented on my post from last week – To Push or Not To Push. Life interfered, and I wasn’t able to answer all commenters individually (by the way, it helps to have your email enabled in Blogger profile settings). I especially appreciated comments from experienced parents of multiple children who helped me put my thoughts in perspective. I am the one who knows my child more than anyone else in the world (in Anna’s words, you know too much about me, mama!) and it’s up to me to listen to both her and Feb13_Vampire my own gut instinct. Thinking over the answers also made me understand that she definitely doesn’t need more pushing in the areas where I’ve been pushing – in academics. I need to get real. We only have 1-2 hours a day together during my work week (I don’t count an insanely long and convoluted ritual that is our dinner-bath-books-bedtime routine), and it’s a little silly of me to think that I can do what homeschoolers are doing with their kids in this short period when both of us are often not at their best. Feb12_Theater What my daughter really needs, however, is habit training, especially in the area of taking care of her belongings and picking up after herself. This is where I have to continue to push and nag and praise until we see progress. What she also needs sometimes is some help in getting her imagination flowing and a playmate. She still loves to have us as her playmates, and even though I’d rather have her play with peers I got to realize lately that I’ve been pushing her to play on her own too much. This early childhood is gone in a blink of an eye, and I’d rather her remember it as time of fun and closeness with her parents than time of drills and power struggles.

13 comments:

Joyful Learner said...

Sounds like a wise choice! We so want to prepare them for the world but they are only 4 once! Cherish the good times and the memories will last you a lifetime!

Christy said...

I definitely understand where you are coming from. I think I read too many homeschooling blogs because I start to think about all of the things I want to do with my children, all of the extra things I want them to learn, and then they have school and homework and whatever else and I feel like I should be doing more. I have to get real too.

My kids, even T, still need habit training!

Ticia said...

1. That puppet theater is AWESOME!

2. Habit training is so hard.

MaryAnne said...

I love that puppet theater every time I see it! Habit training is the thing I'm pushing most with Emma, too.

TheRockerMom said...

What wonderful insights! Habit-training is important, but taking the time to play with our children should be the best part of parenting!! Sometimes, it's difficult and we'd rather do something else... but the moments really are precious and fleeting.

Thanks for this post!!!

Debbie said...

Great perspective! I can't agree more with all that you had to say here. Anna truly is so lucky to have a mom who is so willing to think her way through parenting, rather then just it's my way or the highway.

Discovering Montessori said...

Nice post! Love the puppet theatre. Thank you for sharing.

Julie said...

This is such an inspiring post. Having just gone back to full time work, I find I have so little time to spend with my kids. I'm trying to do the lessons that I've shared on my blog for more than a year, but I'm finding it hard to fit them in. What you've written made me realize that what's important is spending time enjoying my kids, not worrying about teaching them all these extra academic things. Thank you for writing this. It has helped me put things into perspective.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I'm sure you'll find your balance, especially since you have Anna's best interests at heart.

Elise said...

This post brings to mind an article I read about what a 4 year old should know and the link is:

http://www.magicalchildhood.com/articles/4yo.htm

The girl who painted trees said...

This is pretty much the realization I have come to as well which is why somehow this week I was unable to blog, did not bother with the Artists and Art, nor the Preschool Corner. We've been playing a lot. Building with blocks, drawing, reading (me to her more than her to me) and playing LOTS of pretend games (in which my husband or I have to be Pa and shoot animals for supper). LOL. I need to stop worrying about her being advanced in math and language. She'll have tons of time to practice that later, but playing (the kinds of things they play in the early years) is limited yet just as important as the academics. And also, something I have to remember, the world will not end if she does not learn an instrument before 4.
Thanks for these posts, Natalie.

Rashi said...

Love the puppet theater.

Our Homeschool Fun said...

I agree with you totally! Natalie, when Hanna was in preschool and school I will admit, I did nothing extra with her that was academically or arts and crafts related--nothing! Maybe bake cookies, that's it. We played--that's all. And as she got older, of course homework entered the picture.

I think you are doing the best thing by focusing on training her to have good habits and such and then just enjoy each other because like you said, you do not have that much time together each day and making the most of it together is what matters most by far!

Just my two cents worth:-).