Archive for October 30th, 2007

Oct 30 2007

Every Child is Different

How often have you heard the aged-old cliché that “Every child is different”?

More importantly, how often have you, as parents, actively and positively done something about your children’s differences in regards to furthering their education?

I’m not talking about actively treating each of your children differently and making excuses for their weakness.

I’m talking about actively extenuating their differences and positively encouraging our children to turn their weaknesses into their newest strengths?

As a mother of two, I faced many differences in my daughters; perhaps because I treated them differently. I noticed that I enabled my older child, and picked up after the younger one.

As an early child education author and advocate, I noticed that their personal weaknesses, through some influence on my part, may have a direct impact on their ability to learn, so I had to address each issue one by one.

It was most apparent to me when my younger child was entering Kindergarten. I felt a compelling need to write a letter to my daughter’s teacher and give it to her on the first day of school.

The main points I wanted to address were as follows:

  • My husband and I were much better prepared for our second and last daughter to attend Kindergarten.
  • We enabled our first daughter by doing everything for her, while our second daughter is much more independent and has more advanced social skills.
  • Our daughters learn at different paces.
  • Difficult areas include, letters and numbers out of sequence, often confusing the q and p; w, n and m; and 9 and 6, and holding her pencil in an unconventional manner.

Our second daughter is:

  • Spoiled and very stubborn. She tends to hide in corners when she’s stressed and sharing is very difficult for her.
  • A leader and prefers to be the center of attention. She may giggle in line and encourage others to follow her lead.
  • Used to having me pick up after her, so keeping things clean may warrant your help.
  • Runs to the bathroom at the very last second because she’s usually eagerly preoccupied with her activities. But, once she’s in the bathroom the amazement of soap suds can keep her extremely content for a prolonged period of time.
  • “Too big” for naps and hasn’t taken one in months. However, if she’s really tired and hasn’t gone to the bathroom she may fall into a deep sleep and make an accident.
  • Compulsive in some of her routines; such as, she can only eat pizza and hotdogs when they’re cut into small piece, because Mommy once said its better for her. She also must have a spoon and fork on her tray even though she may not use them both, as she copies Daddy’s odd but ingrained habit.
  • While I listed many of my daughter weaknesses, our baby will always raise to the occasion, and when instructed politely can be a teacher’s best helper. My husband and I are actively working with her and eager for her to succeed. She’s eagerly waited for this day, as she already sees herself as a “big girl”, which I have yet to.

Now you’ll understand why I’ll be crying uncontrollably as I walk sobbing down the hall after leaving my little baby in your care.

This is only one example how I, as a parent, felt a need to actively address the issues concerning my daughter’s education. And, kindergarten is not too early.

Be involved from the beginning and your child’s education will flourish.

Copyright 2007– Stacey Kannenberg, Cedar Valley Publishing, Author of Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

How do you acknowledge and celebrate the differences in your child? Have you discussed these differences with his/her teacher and work as a team?  How’d you open up this dialogue?

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