Thursday, June 16, 2016

Why We Bought A Rainbow Umbrella

It's good to ask your kids questions about what they like instead of just assuming.  Probably spouse, friends, and other family, too, for that matter.  

Example #1: Little Boy participated in a reading program this year.  His teacher invited us to observe a lesson.  Before it started, I read a description of his reading strengths, weaknesses, and habits, including this sentence: "[Little Boy] is particularly drawn to nonfiction texts."  That was news to me, although it made sense with the kinds of shows he likes to watch.  I observed the lesson, during which he read a fictional story and a nonfiction book about foxes.  His attention level between the two was fascinating.  He was clearly more drawn to the factual book.  After the lesson, I told him what the teacher had said and asked if it was true.  He nonchalantly replied, "Yep.  I like the books about facts better."  Later, I realized that of course I hadn't known that about books!  I'm drawn to fiction, so fiction is mainly what's available in our home.  LB has had very little opportunity to showcase his interest in nonfiction because I didn't particularly want to read nonfiction books to him.

Example #2: Little Girl and I went to the store so she could buy the umbrella she'd been saving for.  We stood in front of the display so she could see her choices and pick the one she wanted.  I thought she'd immediately choose the pink one because she's been so into pink, but she was drawn to a striped rainbow one.  I checked with her that she didn't want pink, and she responded with a glazed-over love for the rainbow umbrella.  If I had chosen for her, I wouldn't have learned that her preferences may be evolving.

It's like trying on clothes.  We all know our kids won't wear the same size forever, but we don't always notice them growing until they've outgrown a shirt or we measure them.  It's worth measuring them once in a while to know what size pants to buy them, right?  While you're at it, pay attention to how their minds, personalities, and likes / dislikes are growing and changing, too. :)


All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.


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