Happy Kids #4 Reading and Story-telling

Monday, February 06, 2012

Remember when you couldn’t wait to hear your child’s first words?
You hoped it would be “Mama”, but you were equally happy albeit amazed when his first words were “Da-da” and “Donuts”.

And then before you knew it, your child was reciting poems and reading chapter books.

Kids always have stories to share. Their mind is full of imagination that you can’t stop them from exploring different adventures – be it in the pretend world, or in the real world.

My 10yo loves to read – we all love to read. But nothing beats my father-in-law when it comes to reading. Every time he’s in the house, you’ll see him in the living room -reading.  Children tend to emulate people around them, which is why I’m thankful that I’m blessed with providing my child with such role models. We take it for granted, but sadly, there are children who don’t have somebody to look up to.

My 10yo has been reading Lemony Snicket’s “Series of Unfortunate Events and R.L. Stine’s Goose Bumps – books that my 3 older kids had read when they were at  his age. Last week, my 10yo had just finished one of the Goose Bumps books, and he loved it so much that he couldn’t wait to tell me about it.

I was busy making dinner, but he needed to share with me what he just read. He followed me around the house, so I decided to stop what I was doing and participated in the conversation - by listening and asking questions. I asked his permission if I could take a few photographs of him since it makes a good topic for my blog. He wasn't taking “no” or “later” for an answer, so dinner had to be postponed for half an hour – but it was so worth it!

I watched his eyes twinkled as he summarized one story line at a time. His enthusiasm and innocence made me appreciate the roles mothers have in our society. At that moment, I felt that I had made a positive contribution to this universe of ours because I can see in my son’s eyes that there is so much love in him. I was so glad I stopped what I was doing and focused my attention to that one person in the room that mattered the most.

Children ages 7-12 fall under middle childhood. Developmentally, children at this time prepare for the onset of puberty and adolescence. My 10yo gets embarrassed talking about this subject matter which is discussed in his Family Living class.

A significant part of the children’s development during these years involves learning appropriate cultural and social skills. They develop patterns and habits that will affect their adolescence and also persist into adulthood. It’s the time when children gain knowledge of their social and physical environment.

I noticed, too, that their creative minds are in full blast during these years. You can see them putting together stories – be it in writing or in film making, writing piano compositions or painting their first Picasso or Van Gogh.

Psychologists agree that natural gift alone is not enough to produce a creative product. The gift of creativity stems from what we feed our imagination.

Well, this afternoon, my 10yo's imagination must be on hyper drive. He was exceedingly giddy. He was in the creative mindset which made him compose his first piano piece, which he named "Floating Stars."  (I suggested that he names the song "Marshmallows" since I found out that he had quite a few marshmallows at our neighbor's house.)

But his mind was set. So here's "Floating Stars". Enjoy!

While reading about Child Development, I learned about Marla Olmstead, a10yo child who started painting at the age of 2, and had sold her paintings at age 4 for tens and thousands of dollars! Pretty interesting story I suggest you read.

While reading about child development in my daughter's nursing books on Human Development, I bumped into this list of suggestions or reminders on interacting with children. ( I could use a few reminding myself!)
- Respect children’s questions and ideas, and their right to initiate their own learning.
- Respect children’s right to reject the ideas of caretakers in favor of their own
- Encourage children’s awareness and sensitivity regarding environmental stimuli
- Confront youngsters with problems, contradictions, ambiguities, and uncertainties
- Give children opportunities to make something and then do something with it
- Use provocative and thought-provoking questions and give children opportunities to describe what they learned and accomplished.
- Encourage children’s sense of self-esteem, self-worth and self respect.

"The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop." - Mark Twain

Hugs and kisses! 

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