Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A matter of ego

Here's Ryan, having his milk. He was playing with the set of alphabet blocks and told me, "I am clever". I said, "Are you VERY clever?" He replied enthusiastically, "Yes!" Then I asked him, "Can you spell 'I am very clever'?" He said yes. I said, "Oh, but you may have to use something else, because there's only one "E" in this set of blocks." His response was, "There are three Es here, mama. The M and the W can be Es too. Look!", as he held the M and the W up to show me.

Well, he needed the M to be an M and not an E, so he had to be content with "I am clever", and not "I am very clever", hahaha.

That was a while ago but I wanted to share because it happens quite frequently that Ryan will tell me something like, "I am a good boy" or "I am clever". Does it sound egoistical? Maybe coming from an adult. But coming from a four year old, I think it's perfect. For a little one to have such self-confidence, to be so self-assured - that is absolutely wonderful.

He isn't saying he's better than anyone and he isn't being a peacock. He says it because he's happy to know that this is true, that it's a fact. And it's a fact because he hears it so often. We always tell him things like that - "You did a great job - you're a good boy - you're wonderful - you're awesome". If he tries something and can't do it, he might say dejectedly, "I can't do it." Instead of rushing in to help him and doing it for him, I tell him, "You can, baby. You can do it. You can do anything." And he will give it another go, and he usually gets it. And that grin when he does - priceless.

We surround him with positivity and in return, he glows.

This is not to say that we tell him he's great when he's not been great. Of course not. Praise isn't praise if it's not genuine. If he didn't do a good job with his violin practise, I tell him straight up - that's not a good job, let's try again. If he's rude or rough with his sister, I tell him that's not acceptable, be nice.

It is also a fundamental tenet of Montessori, Shichida and Suzuki philosophies (and a few others) that parents should build up their child's confidence. You do that by assuring him that he is loved always, no matter what. You do that by showering him with positivity and encouragement. You are, to borrow a cliche, the wind beneath his wings. This is one of the reasons why I identify strongly with these philosophies, because they affirm what Richard and I already believe - to use love, respect and positivity in parenting.

Ok, on to other things. Here's something from Ryan's preschool. I mentioned a while back that we are not doing much art at home now because Ryan gets quite a lot of that in school. So I thought I'd share some of his school art here. Last term, each of the Nursery 2 and Kindergarten (K1 and K2) classes did an art piece, which was then auctioned off for charity. Here are some (not all) of the pieces.

The pieces are mixed media. The one in the photo above, on the left, is made up of coloured yarn stretching across the canvas secured by nails at the perimeter, like a geo board. The one in the middle is made up of different pieces of paper stuck onto the canvas and the one on the right is made up of string and paint.

More pieces. The one on the right is made up of torn pieces of painted paper.

Here's a closer look at the one at the back - this one was done with paint. This one sold for $650. I don't know what the others sold for. I know the price of this one because it was displayed outside Ryan's classroom on the final bidding day.

Rainbow colours. Painted first, and then the students added interest and texture by scratching on the paint with something, I don't know what. Looks nice!

This one below looks good huh?

This is the one done by Ryan's class. It's called "Spotty Dotty Rainbow Circles". It ties in to what the class was studying that term - lines, circles, spirals, light, colours, rainbow. Fun piece!

Hope you enjoyed that! See you back here tomorrow!


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