As I continue to expand my blog and community Facebook page, I devote a certain amount of time per day perusing through Flipboard and a few of my favorite pages to find things to blog about and share. One of the articles I came across today was about mindsets and how you speak to your children can encourage them to be successful. Normally, I would have shared this article on my Facebook page and moved on, allowing for the discussions to begin, but since I’m now focusing harder on getting Henry up to speed, I find myself needing to blog about this article, which I will include at the end of this post.
As many of you know, my children are with me daily, even though they are both in school. I had the opportunity to put them both on the same days of the week, thereby allowing me some alone time, a chance to recharge, and even accomplish a few things I’ve put on the back burner since becoming a mom (MY BOOK that I’ve desperately attempted to edit over the past 4 years). My husband and I discussed this option and we decided it best to separate the boys and allow for me to have individual one on one time with them. So, as I’ve stated before, Henry is a T/Th student, while Davey is a MWF student.
When Davey was 4 months old, I quit my job and decided to be a stay at home mom. I immediately jumped into my role, taking him to the library for story time, reading to him profusely, quizzing him on animals and their sounds, and even stepping out of my comfort zone to join a playgroup with other moms and their children. I perused through the internet and pinned like crazy on Pinterest all sorts of ideas to get my child ahead of the game. I’m not one for wasting time. I have to be productive in everything I do, even if that productivity is only perceived through my eyes.
By the time, Davey was almost 2, he was enrolled in a Mother’s Morning Out program. I was in the final trimester of my 2nd pregnancy and eager for a little breathing room and to get Davey into a routine that was all for HIM before Henry came along. He was well ahead of the game when he started. He was speaking at a 3 year old level, enunciating words, and learning how to grammatically speak correctly. He knew his letters in order and randomly as well as numbers, shapes, and colors. I was proud of him and my ability to get him there.
When Henry arrived, for obvious reasons, I was unable to devote all of my time to just one child. I still worked with Davey, especially during the first couple of months of Henry’s life when he was nothing more than an eating, sleeping, drooling, and pooping mess. I continued to build upon my foundation I had started with Davey and by the time he started actual preschool, he was ahead of the game, and still is. As for Henry, I’ve struggled.
It’s hard to teach Henry the same things that I thought Davey, because Davey is always there and he wants to answer the questions. He wants to please me and he wants to show me that he knows his stuff, displaying his fixed mindset, which discourages Henry from answering my questions. When I ask Henry what color this is, I get, “I don’t know,” but he really does know. How do I know this? Because when I’m NOT trying to sit down and teach him, he’ll pull out a yellow crayon, for example, and say, “mom, I color this sun yellow.” He knows his stuff. I just haven’t figured out how to get him to sit with me and let me teach him or to show me that he is just as smart as I know he is and can be.
Henry has been in school for 4 days total so far, meaning that I’ve had 5 days (not counting Labor Day) with which he and I could work on the basic concepts every preschooler should know. I had started the approach of the fixed mindset when teaching him, since that’s what worked best with Davey, and as a side note, Davey displays characteristics of both mindsets dependent upon what he is doing or working on. Unfortunately, it appears that the fixed mindset doesn’t work with Henry and he needs to be challenged instead of taught in a basic setting.
He told me this week, while shoving flashcards of letters and numbers across the table, “I not want to do this.” We’ve bought him a LeapFrog, but he doesn’t use it. Davey loves ABC Mouse, and so I set Henry up with his own Avatar for it as well. Nope, he’s not a fan, so I’m finding that I have to step outside of the box and find ways to be interactive and that includes walks in the park where I may take leaves and make a letter “L” out of those leaves. He then will find rocks and make letters out of those, so you see he knows his stuff.
So, the article that inspired this blog is here:
It doesn’t go in depth nor is it judgmental, it just helps with finding other ways to encourage your children to be successful.
Of course, dealing with Henry, has given me a new level of respect for teachers as I never really looked at the fact that each child is different (it’s obvious, I know, but I haven’t really considered it) and what these teachers must do and go through to reach each child, to help them to be successful and to learn.