Having two little children has kept me abreast of kids’ stuff: nice place for kids, TV shows, nursery rhymes, mobile applications/games, and of course books. I find delight in them. As my children learn and have fun, so do I!
One of the many blessings I received is having a very smart boy. I am writing about him not because I just want to brag. But I am proud of him and I want him to know that. I take note of his milestones since he was a toddler. As I mentioned before, I am fond of keeping journals/diaries. After I became a mom, I started writing more about my children.
At 18 months: He can clearly say at least 50 words
2 1/2 years old: I noticed his interest in books.
3 years old: He can already spell and write his name, as well as some words.
4 years old (From the Pre-Kindergarten Assessment) The teacher was surprised that he can read anything. You give him any book and he can read it. They were tested to count and expected to know 1-20. He counted until 199. He recognized all letters both uppercase and lowercase. He knew all the alphabet phonics/sounds. He knew shapes and colors. He knew how to write too.
5 years old (from the Kindergarten Report Card) “Very intelligent; Uses his knowledge of phonics to spell most words correctly when writing in his journal. He has excellent ideas and is able to express them in his writing. Continues to demonstrate advanced skills in reading. Enthusiastic about learning and understands new concepts quickly. Has good verbal expression for his age. Consistently demonstrates understanding in all areas; He is quite exceptional”… During the student of the month award, I am so proud his teacher even said, “I think he is a genius!”
6 year old (1st Grade) – First Trimester Report Card “Easily reads and writes at grade level, along with comprehending the text. He is able to work grade level and above with math computation and practices… I look forward to reading his writing as he often writes in complete sentences using details with excellent knowledge and expression.”
In terms of academics, he is indeed exceptional. He is naturally gifted. He does not exert effort in doing his school work but he still excels. Last week, he was absent for three days because we were sick with colds and cough. Yet when he returned to school he perfected his spelling, poem recital, and math test. Every Friday, usually he will come home with perfect scores on his quizzes/tests. I do not have a hard time teaching him at all since he picks up easily. At 6 years old he basically does his homework by himself and I just check them after. He has an amazing memory too.
You know what concerns me, and where my husband and I are exerting effort guiding him? It is his emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence pertains to the ability to monitor one’s own or others’ emotions. From Pre-K, Kindergarten, and at present, I notice that the usual comments he gets are related to Self and Social Development or Interpersonal Skills. This pertains to impulse control, cooperative play with peers, how to negotiate conflict, shared use of space. His Kindergarten teacher mentioned on the report card “I am working with him to be able to handle frustration and problem solve on his own. Andrei is very intelligent and gets upset if he thinks he’s not doing things fast enough, such as putting papers into folder or getting his supplies ready. He doesn’t like to feel behind in working with the class.” From the first trimester now in first grade, the report card mentioned “He is working to keep his hands and body in his own space in regards to relating to his classmates.” We noticed that he easily panics, gets stressed out, he burst into tears when he is frustrated, mad. It seems to take a while before he calms down. Maybe it is just a stage. Some attributes to personality. But still, as a mother, I tend to be concerned of the behavior, its effects on him in the long run.
My son is a very sweet and loving person, not just to his family but to everybody around. He has a lot of friends and they are fond of him. However, when he gets mad, upset or frustrated it seems like he is just overwhelmed. We are trying to teach him how to manage and control his emotions. We talk to him a lot about these things. We want him to be conscious, to be aware of his emotions, his actions, and how they affect others. As a parent, I want my child to be well rounded, not just good in academics but also someone who can deal with people, with himself, and cope up with life. I believe this is very important for success and happiness. Our kids might be born with certain personalities but I believe we can teach them how to manage and control their weaknesses. We want to equip them so they can cope up. I have to admit, I find this job so challenging. It often tries my patience and I end up worrying. Are we doing the right thing? Are we using the right approach? Are they going to be fine persons someday? Will they thrive in their lives? Maybe I just think too much. I pray to God to help us raise these children. I know, as parents we can only do our best to teach and guide them. Eventually, they have to be on their own. We just hope and pray for the best!
With my Psychology background, I am aware of the different kinds of Intelligence. For some of you who are interested to look into this, it might also help you in your approach as you guide/teach your children. Just sharing this information with you I copied from Wikipedia.
The theory of intelligence that differentiates it into specific (primarily sensory) “modalities”, rather than seeing intelligence as dominated by a single general ability. This model was proposed by Howard Gardner in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Although the distinction between intelligences has been set out in great detail, Gardner opposes the idea of labeling learners to a specific intelligence. Each individual possesses a unique blend of all the intelligences. Gardner firmly maintains that his theory of multiple intelligences should “empower learners”, not restrict them to one modality of learning.
Musical–rhythmic and harmonic
This area has to do with sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. People with a high musical intelligence normally have good pitch and may even have absolute pitch, and are able to sing, play musical instruments, and compose music. They have sensitivity to rhythm, pitch, meter, tone, melody or timbre.
This area deals with spatial judgment and the ability to visualize with the mind’s eye. Spatial ability is one of the three factors beneath g in the hierarchical model of intelligence.
People with high verbal-linguistic intelligence display a facility with words and languages. They are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words along with dates. Verbal ability is one of the most g-loaded abilities. This type of intelligence is measured with the Verbal IQ in WAIS-III.
This area has to do with logic, abstractions, reasoning, numbers and critical thinking. This also has to do with having the capacity to understand the underlying principles of some kind of causal system. Logical reasoning is closely linked to fluid intelligence and to general intelligence (g factor).
The core elements of the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are control of one’s bodily motions and the capacity to handle objects skillfully. Gardner elaborates to say that this also includes a sense of timing, a clear sense of the goal of a physical action, along with the ability to train responses.
People who have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence should be generally good at physical activities such as sports, dance, acting, and making things.
Gardner believes that careers that suit those with high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence include: athletes, dancers, musicians, actors, builders, police officers, and soldiers. Although these careers can be duplicated through virtual simulation, they will not produce the actual physical learning that is needed in this intelligence.
This area has to do with interaction with others. In theory, individuals who have high interpersonal intelligence are characterized by their sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations, and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group. According to Gardner in How Are Kids Smart: Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, “Inter- and Intra- personal intelligence is often misunderstood with being extroverted or liking other people…” Those with high interpersonal intelligence communicate effectively and empathize easily with others, and may be either leaders or followers. They often enjoy discussion and debate.
This area has to do with introspective and self-reflective capacities. This refers to having a deep understanding of the self; what one’s strengths/ weaknesses are, what makes one unique, being able to predict one’s own reactions/emotions.
Not part of Gardner’s original 7, naturalistic intelligence was proposed by him in 1999. This area has to do with nurturing and relating information to one’s natural surroundings. Examples include classifying natural forms such as animal and plant species and rocks and mountain types. This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. This sort of ecological receptiveness is deeply rooted in a “sensitive, ethical, and holistic understanding” of the world and its complexities–including the role of humanity within the greater ecosphere.
Some proponents of multiple intelligence theory proposed spiritual or religious intelligence as a possible additional type. Gardner did not want to commit to a spiritual intelligence, but suggested that an “existential” intelligence may be a useful construct, also proposed after the original 7 in his 1999 book. The hypothesis of an existential intelligence has been further explored by educational researchers.
I often say to my friend, it is indeed a challenge to raise children… As a parent, we feel accountable. It is our duty to make sure that they turn out into good, successful, healthy, and happy people. We make sure we fill their needs intellectually, emotionally, physically, psychologically. God gave them to us and it is our responsibility to love and let them be the best persons they can be.
I have a son and he is turning 7 years old this year. They say that the first seven years of the child’s life is very crucial or important. This may define the persons they will likely be later on. So we try to instill the values that we can and focus on their needs. This is one of the reasons why I stopped working when my son was 2 1/2 years old. Thank God, my husband and I have the option that I stay home to take care of our children during the first few years of their life. I try to instill love of books, love of reading in my children. I love borrowing a lot of interesting books for them. This makes them see reading as something fun. My husband and I try to expose them as well to different activities just to find out their interests and talents. Andrei went to classes like Martial arts, and now he is playing golf every weekend. This school year we sent him to catechism class in church too. We need to build up the spiritual side as well. We make sure that they see the value of learning. I closely monitor his performance in school. Everyday, we have time to read and do school homework together. As parents, we are not perfect. I get tired too and it challenges my patience. But we still do our best to give the children what they deserve. All the love, care, and attention.
I am writing this because I realized that no matter how we protect our children, when they go out of the house, they go to school, you can not shield them at all from negative things. Out there, there can be bad influence or people who can hurt them. I understand that it is the real world, and eventually they have to deal with it. But as a mom, I want to make sure that when they face the real world, they will be equipped and their values are strong.
During the start of first grade, my son would often complain about a classmate who never stopped teasing him. The boy would say bad stuff to him or call him bad names. I would often advise my son to ignore the boy or report to the teacher if he is really hurt and offended. My son seems fine. Then these past few weeks, he would tell me things about school and that boy again would do or say something not nice to him. As a mother, it is our natural reaction, it is our instinct to be protective of our children. I felt I have had enough and I am a concerned parent. I am curious. I just want to find out what is going on. It happened that the boy’s mother is an acquaintance/a friend (not that close). I was thinking, I know his mom, so I tried to send a message to the boy’s mother about what has been going on with our sons. I was very careful with my words. I believe my approach was constructive. Well, it did not turn out well. She sounded pissed off and trying to tell me that we should not take kids fight seriously. She was over reacting. So I tried to apologize if I offended her so many times and even tried to call her. But some people are so narrow minded. I understand that she is being protective of her child as well. But I am sure there are things she does not know about her son. Her son told Andrei (my son) not to report to me of what’s happening to them in school. And just earlier, I was so alarmed. This is the reason why I wrote about this. My six year old was joking around. He went to my back and innocently joke about putting the thing in the butt! He was like singing about it. I asked him where did he learn it? He was so clueless why I was very upset. He said he learned it from the same boy. The boy would joke to him about it. I got so worried, so furious. I protect my child from any negative thing and I realize I can not do that out of home! We spent time talking about manners, respect, being good, choosing good friends, picking up only good things, I am really so alarmed. And I do not feel sorry anymore having opened it to my friend. I am aware that she has been having problems with her son. But I do not want my son to be involved with her son.
Now I am thinking of home schooling. I can see the advantages for the children, especially during the first few years of life at least. By the time they go to high school, I believe their values will already be strong/established.
Oh my goodness. Good luck to us parents. May God’s help be with us as we do our mission to take care of our children!