Thursday, July 17, 2008

Early Childhood Education and Mothering

I have a daughter (Elektra) who is going to be 15 months old tomorrow. I know someone who has a daughter 6 days older than Elektra.

I made a list of all the words Elektra can say today and she says 16 separate words (I think, I might be missing one or two). The other little girl can say over 75 separate words including naming and pointing to colors, shapes, facial features (nose, mouth) and even counting.

I was astounded to learn this. Not because I think my daughter is behind or even that the other little girl is advanced...just purely because I realized I don't work with Elektra on language as much as I did with my older children.

Why not? Honestly, I don't know. What will I be doing tonight? Sitting with her in her play yard working on the names of colors.

I talk to her constantly when I am doing things with her but I also have two other children at home that take some of my attention.

Tay is 13 and still talking to me (so far). She loves to be within 12 inches of me most of the time and will even still snuggle with me on the couch. I am trying to enjoy that while I can, but also teach her about respecting other people's space while at the same time trying not to hurt her feelings and make her think I don't want to be close to her. I hear that between 13 and 16 children begin to tune out their parents. She is doing that with my husband but not yet with me. *knocks on wood*
Tay didn't talk really early. She wasn't a late talker either; just "on time" I guess. She was a shy one when she was younger, but seems to have come out of her shell a bit. She is much more outgoing and very well liked by her peers.

Tristan is 7 and a very high maintenance child. He loves to be the center of attention and will do all kinds of things to keep your focus on him. He can be very sweet, very loving and very mild. But for the most part, he is jumping, loud and exuberant. My husband has him playing piano. He's amazing and plays beautifully. If we can keep him focused on the music, he will one day be a fantastic pianist.
Tristan did talk early. He also walked early at 7 months. And is a high achiever in school. Many of the kids like him but if he gets to be the center of attention too often, arguments ensue.

It can be very difficult to be a mother and every mother has challenges specific to her family. My challenges seem to stem from my kids being so far apart. Another mother might say her challenges stem from her kids being so close together.

It all depends on our personal experiences.

May all the mothers out there have at least a few minutes each day where you are proud of your mothering.

Blessings and Peace to all Mothers!

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