Thursday, May 3, 2012

Magic Number 3

Ryan is three years old now. Richard and I do not keep close track of his developmental milestones, but we do take stock from time to time, and now seems to be an appropriate time to do so.

Health and Physical development
Ryan has been blessed with excellent health. Last year (2011), he fell ill once. So far, we have not detected any allergies or sensitivities. He is up to date with the recommended vaccinations for his age. Ryan's motor skills (fine and gross) are on track and we do not see any issues. He is a little light in terms of weight, but within normal limits. He is a picky eater, but we leave him be. He probably knows best, as proven by his robust health.

Social development
The terrible twos can begin anytime during the second year (meaning, anytime after the first birthday, and in some cases, even before) and lasts till around the third birthday. Thankfully, Ryan was never a terrible two year-old. He never displayed the horrors which we heard about - no unrelenting screaming, no violent behaviour (thrashing about, kicking, biting), no undecipherable tantrums. He’s pretty easygoing. He is certainly not a doormat – he has his opinions, views, moods and ideas, but somehow he manages to convey them to us effectively without frustration or drama.

He does get upset sometimes, just like any adult or child, but it’s always for a good solid reason (usually tiredness), and he’s always able to convey that reason to us without descending into an unstoppable meltdown. The moment the issue is resolved, he is fine.

Ryan has had the benefit of socialising everyday with people of all ages, younger and older than him and his social skills have developed as a result of that. We can see that he is getting more interested in playing and interacting with other toddlers around his age as well as with older children and there have been no problems at all in his interactions.

We generally let Ryan do whatever he wants as he does not get up to mischief. Ryan is an obedient child and very amenable to instruction. If you do need to tell him “no”, you only have to say it once. He is never defiant or rebellious. Ironically, because he is so agreeable, we rarely give him direct instructions, unless it’s a safety issue.

For language skills, Ryan has no problem reciting anything he has heard before or echo-ing other people’s words. Those are skills that two year olds should be able to do so, starting a few months ago, we started looking out for conversational language instead. We do see it more and more now, although we do think that this is an area that needs some work. He has not yet begun to greet people (like a “hello”) and we are still waiting for the “please” and “thank you”. He does wave and say “bye bye” though, sometimes accompanied by a flying kiss.

Emotional and Moral development
Ryan learns quickly when we show him right (clean up his toys after playing) from wrong (no throwing stuff around). He continues to learn as fresh situations crop up.

We’ve seen Ryan exhibit care and affection, gently stroking our cat and tucking his Elmo and his Super Grover into bed at night. He is free with his hugs and kisses. He always wants to be in close contact with Richard and I and he loves company.

Ryan is quite sensitive to what is happening around him, taking his time to observe and absorb his environment before deciding what to do. He picks up feelings and moods quickly. When he watches performances, musicals or DVDs, he can sense the character’s happiness, sadness, fear, anger, relief, etc.

As I mentioned sometime back, Ryan has been complimented on his self-discipline and good attitude in Shichida class and we've seen him exhibit grace, emotional control and strength of mind when dealing with others.

Intellectual development
Ryan is an extremely fast learner and has a strong ability to retain what he has learned. His focus and powers of concentration are remarkable.

He enjoys music, dancing and singing – when he hears a good beat, you can see him start to tap his toes, rock his shoulders and bop his chest until the rhythm takes hold and he’s out of his seat, bouncing on his toes and jumping up and down with his fists pumping the air. He can pick up a song after hearing it once. He likes to sing and sometimes he even makes up his own sound effects to accompany the music, beatboxing with the beat and the rhythm. His nanny’s family says that he likes to do what they call “The Alphabet Rap”, which is basically him reciting the alphabet to a made-up beat in his head.

We continue to give him as much free and creative playtime as possible, whether it is constructing train tracks or painting or building Lego creations. He seems to enjoy such activities.

So, I think Richard and I get an acceptable report card yes? There are certainly some areas that Richard and I need to watch out for, but overall, we are very relieved to know that we haven't screwed up yet!


Sherlyn said...

You should be proud of yourself for having such a great kid! Thanks for sharing your activities that you do with Ryan. It's really inspiring! I have been a closet reader of yours for sometime and thought I should say hi! :)

Pinkie Pirate said...

Sherlyn, thank you so very much for your kind words and for taking the time to pen them down. It is so nice to hear such positive comments - it's people like you who start smiles spreading round!

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