There is so much pressure put on kids today to perform and excel that we don't let kids be kids anymore.
This morning a post on social media from a Mom really caught my attention. She had a picture of a valentine that her 4 year old had "signed". It was scribbled and she seemed stressed about the fact that he couldn't write his name.
Here was her post,
"My 4 and a half year old son is so frustrating at times! He can't write yet, and gets so lazy when it comes to practicing. This is his name for his valentines. (I wrote his name below) What do I do to help him? He's so smart in other things but I'm afraid he's going to be behind in other things that he should already know."
"It took an hour tears and all to do get these done!"
Some of the responses on her post absolutely blew me away. Here
are a few.
"My 5 year old just did 32 cards this evening. His name is Jeremiah, last year he struggled. We made him write his name when he got home from school 10 times before he could do anything and we got work books from target to help him." The original poster asked if the 5 year old fought her on that and here is her response, "stand your ground. I took away anything he liked until he completed them. He finally learned it was my way or the highway."
Oh my word. I am honestly speechless about that response....
"My son is 4 and has no interest in coloring, drawing or writing. I'm nervous too."
I'm nervous? Really? They are 4 years old. I am pretty sure at 4, I was not worried about writing.
"Look up handwriting without tears. It's a writing curriculum that starts with putting ones and curves together like a puzzle to make a person and then to make letters. Eventually, kids draw pictures and then letters using lines and curves. There's even a fun song/activity you can do to make "mat man." I'm sure there are lots of ideas on Pinterest and some videos on YouTube"
At least this suggestion sounded like helping them learn to write at a young age could be made to be fun. Better than the Mom that took away anything her kid liked until he got it right.
"look up Dysgraphia"
OH MY GOSH! I had to look this up. Here is the definition.
" I wonder if focusing on 1 letter at a time would help - perhaps he is overwhelmed by all the shapes. Maybe if he just had to do the capital R over and over till he could do it, then add the y... If you show him several letters can he pick out the ones in his name? has (insert kid name) been thru preschool screening yet? Do you see other delays?" "but has he been evaluated by the school district? It's totally free and may qualify him for extra help before kindergarten... and is separate from preschool"
Evaluated by the school district? He is 4!!! (I can't say that enough. He is 4. He is 4. He is 4>
"Have him practice writing his name 20 times a day."
He is 4. He is a kid. Let him be a kid for heaven's sake.
"Have you had him tested for visual processing disorders? Most of you are probably saying..."what the heck is that?!" Often times, we see patients like your son, who are having a very difficult time writing or in an academic setting, but are exceptionally intelligent. Sometimes, this can be a result of poor visual processing skills. Just a thought. If you are interested (Insert Dr. Name and Clinic Name) offers free Vision Therapy Evaluations."
This woman must work for the clinic? But again, is this really necessary for a 4 year old?
Of course there were a number of people that were responding with don't worry about it, it is all normal etc. But honestly this whole thing upset me at so many levels.
We push our kids harder and harder all the time. So many parents want Johnny or Susie to be the next child prodigy in school, music, sports, dance or any other activity. Why are we doing this? What is the point?
Here is a great article if you want to read a little more about it. Let Kids Be Kids
Children should be playing, be outside, jumping in puddles, building snowmen, creative play, exercise, HAVE FUN!