I am a wife, mother of two beautiful children and continually on the quest to better myself. I will share my experiences, tips and adventures through motherhood in hopes that it helps other moms better the quality of their lives. I will share my stories, favorite products, review books and just share my random thoughts on how to be a great mother, wife and better person in the community.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Early Learning - Just another competition

Back in high school, during a passing conversation I was having with one of my friends I remember her suddenly asking me "why do you have to make everything into a competition?".  Although I don't remember the subject we were talking about, I really do remember that question throwing me.  My first thought was "WHAT?  I don't make everything into a competition!".  Because up until that point, I had not realized that I was a competitive person.  Up until that point, I thought I was just trying to do my best at every activity I pursued - especially since that was what my parents expected of us.

Ever since then, I had an awareness of every time I had to be the best at something, whether it was getting the best grade on a test,or even ensuring that I had the most amount of french fries compared to my siblings.   So it is no surprise that once my daughter was born, I had to ensure that she would be the best at everything she did too - whether it be language skills, knowing her letters and numbers, or even walking before other kids her age.

It's probably this same need to be competitive that also made me hesitant and annoyed in being part of other mommy groups.  There were other competitive moms that were doing the same thing - and to make it worse, they were bragging about it.  The one thing about being competitive about your kids though, is that you can only do so much.  The rest is up to your child, and it is this lack of control that makes it hard on the competitive parent.  But what can we do as parents to encourage and create an environment where our children can thrive?  Well, I have been reading several books on the topic of early childhood learning - and in fact, I just can't get enough of it.

So for all the competitive moms and dads out there that are also interested in early childhood learning, here's a very good book to read:  "Nurtureshock: New Thinking About Children" by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.  This was a very interesting book about how some of the things we've been told about kids and their development are totally wrong.  It covers many topics from the importance of sleep in kids, the effects of TV on young kids, why kids lie, to a learning program called "Tools of the Mind" that has had great success in teaching toddlers both emotional control and advanced learning in reading and math.  It made me want to really start implementing some of the "Tools" traits at home, since there are hardly any schools that have implemented it here in the Seattle area.

The good points of this book include:  great insight into how kids are wired, reference to tons of studies done on kids, coverage of great topics.  The bad:  a lot of statistics are thrown out, with very little commentary in specific actions parents can take; sometimes the topics just end, when a little more elaboration would have been great.

Overall it was a great and insightful book and definitely worth my time to read.  Now that I have my Kindle, I was able to highlight the points that I thought were important, and I can just skim through it the next time around.  :)

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