What a load of horse hooey.

I love videos like this, because they make me feel better about how few "enrichment" activities I do with Bean. Everywhere we go, she learns stuff ("Mommy, would you like to tell me how they make airplanes?"), but I feel bad, sometimes, that she doesn't have more 'stuff' to do. Ballet, soccer, that kind of stuff.

I've been thinking a bit about Bean's preschool experience, trying to decide if she'd do better with "more" structure and learning (a la Montessori) or if a less structured, more play-based thing is better for her.

She's kind of like a mustang, to use an analogy she'd really appreciate if she got it - she's wild and unpredictable with moments of calm. And I'm torn between whispering and breaking. My general approach with her is whispering and earning her trust/respect, but when I'm frustrated with something she does (like not listening) I sometimes switch to 'breaking' mode.

Either way will yield a similar outward appearance: you can ride either horse. But one has been cowed into submission, the other, not so much.

Sigh. Parenting is just hard work sometimes ...

More later; been working on this since yesterday and just want to post something so I can get ready for work. I'll close with some Beanisms.

(Playing with her Ponies)
"Thank you for saving my life. That was pretty nice of you. I love you and I care about you.

"We better let our whole family come in. The whole group of horses.

"Only 8 seconds! 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Assignment complete - we're all in the house!

(At lunch at Subway)
"Ow! I just bruised my spinal cord!

- And I just realized I threw away the napkin I jotted the rest of her lunchtime jems on. Crap. There were some good ones, too. -

(Doing clean-up)
"Mommy! I just licked a bug off your table!
(Seriously. And she was delighted in both the action and in the reporting of the action.)

(Watching Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, and hearing Kai-Lan's Mandarin word for dig as 'waaa') "Waaa??!! What in the ... ? That's not a word!"


Julia said...

Love the Beanisms.

I don't know that parenting should be defined in strict extremes. Just from semantic use of "breaking" implies inherently that you are subconsciously biased against one particular way of parenting. I am a firm believer in walking the middle ground, pushing in some areas that I know will help my kid grow and letting her choose her interests in spite of my own prejudices. Regardless of how you choose to parent, in the end, most kids reach more of less the same destination...to be productive, happy citizens.

If you decide to go the Montessori route, Bean will probably walk away with more academic "knowledge" but gain in other aspects of play, socialization, and discovery which cannot be done in a traditional preschool. Likewise, the experiences that she gains in the preschool cannot be duplicated in the Montessori. Either place, she'll learn life lessons. The question is in what environment do you want her to learn these lessons NOW at this stage in her life.

You and I suffer probably not from over-parenting but overthinking parenting.

Victoria said...

Oh, I'm not just subconsciously biased :) I have my lofty little ideals and want to be this totally Zen mommy who just asks gently for things to be done and *poof* they're done.

I don't think my mom will be bothered (at least I hope she won't) when I say her style was more 'breaking' - the contest of wills she and I had was legendary. Mine leans more toward whispering, but the stubborn streak that served me so well in mother-daughter battles hasn't exactly gone dormant, so Bean and I butt heads as well.

I think that Bean's current teacher is dead wrong for her; my hopes for the next level up aren't much better. And after the convo Bean and I had today, I'm about done with her preschool experience as it stands today.

Love talking with you about this stuff - we never piss each other off and we're both nuts :)

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