Monday, January 21, 2008

Embracing my child's spirit....

I have been stuggling lately probably more with myself as a parent than what I thought was the original problem. I vented to my mommy's group online and feel better much better about embracing my child's spirit.

I want to describe my husband and myself. This will make it easier to see how the two of us parent and why this has been such a struggle to me as a parent. My hubby sees the world as a win-lose situation. He stands for competition, sports, strategy, and and lacks a creative/artistic side...but very book smart. Then, there is me. I am creative, loves to read, finds competition to be a waste of time, enjoys doing things that are hands-on, etc. My son is very much like me. He has a wonderful imagination (Loves to pretend), creative when he makes up stories, very intellectual about topics he very much enjoys (like animals), and super sensitive like me. He enjoys playing sports if it is with Mommy, primarly because I make it fun and not competitive. However, he talks about playing with Daddy when he gets bigger. His self-esteem is low at times especially in larger groups or new groups. Socially, he has grown, but gravitates toward the girl groups. He makes comments about the boys being mean to eachother at school, like kicking each other's feets and smacking their fists together. He is not very aggressive (unless you put him in that situation). He is loving, sweet, and senstive. That is how his preschool teachers described him.

My struggles have been his overload of imagination at age 4 1/2. He loves to be an animal and tends to be a different one everyday. I only began to think it was a "problem" because of my circle of friends and hubby. I always thought it was normal and a part of a preschooler's development. I felt uncomfortable with making him stop pretending and killing his "spirit", what makes my son who he is.

Because I don't get magazines in the mail (except the scrapbooking magazine my mother got me for xmas), I don't read much unless I go looking for it. So, I went looking. I had briefly read an article in Parents magazine months back at the doctor's office and went searching for it. It was exactly what I needed to read and share.

First, I took a quiz to find out what kind of intellegince my son has....this is what it told me:

Your Child's Strength Is Creative Intelligence Your little one has an aptitude for the creative arts, which can include music, visual art, or drama. His strongest assets may be one or all of the following: verbal skills (reading, writing, and telling jokes); musical skills (repeating tongue-twisters, reciting rhymes, and singing songs); or visual aptitude (coloring, painting pictures, imagining vivid images). The wonderful imagination that accompanies a child with high creative intelligence can manifest itself in an imaginary friend or delight in telling stories. And good news for parents: Children with Creative Intelligence can usually stay perfectly entertained when left on their own.

Then, I proceeded with my search...since this began to make me feel better. I have to say finding this type of information is not easy. I have failed in my attempts, so if anyone has read an article or has ideas for me please comment! :)

My little man is a Moose :)

Did you know that Tator Tots make great animal hats?


debby said...

It addresses this internal battle you're having with yourself over whether or not this is normal. What seems to be the best thing to do is not to discourage it unless it's interferring with daily activities. Until then: the ability to "pretend" should be covetted. Children who are NOT able to pretend/imagine...are cause for concern. Enjoy him while he's young and encourage him to imagine new things too. :)

debby said...

Ok more! I found more! Your normal and so is he. :)

This one had tons of stuff. :0)

Cameron said...

You're normal...and so is Noah!!!!! Awhile back while teaching 5th grade, I had a girl who loved to pretend she was a horse. She would not do it in class but only while playing on the playground. And she drew them like a champ! Anyway, I still keep in touch with her and she has the most amazing LOVE for horses. She does not pretend to be a horse anymore (she is now in 9th) but she does ride them, wants to be a vet, etc). I agree with Debby. If it does not disrupt his leaning environment and when you need to do important things, then it is not a cause for concern. He is a beautiful, young boy with a very creative spirit. I think it is best to encourage his creative imagination and not discourage it. This will only create a lack of understanding why he can't do it anymore and could make him feel shameful. All children, pretend or imagine. You're a great parent...don't doubt yourself cause others may judge. Your parenting is the only parenting Noah needs, not your friends perspective. I know you know what I mean by this.

d said...

yahh.. what she said! LOl

Cameron said...

ok since posting my comment, you added pictures. I LOVE THEM...I am howling. Love the tator tot hats. (= LMAO!!!!!

Mary said...

Like I told you, with 10 years of preschoolers under my hat and hundreds of 4 year olds, this is perfectly normal behavior. He can learn when it's appropriate to display his 'spirit' and when it's not and I think he understands this. He's wonderful and you have no need to worry. He will grow up to be a perfectly normal wonderful kid! Listen to your mama!