Monday, November 9, 2009

Choosing Your Battles

**aaaaahem....clearing throat and stepping up on soapbox**

So I went to my youngest sons Pre-K Parent Teacher conference last week. All is good, for the most part. He won't hold his pencil right...which is causing the difficulty he has with writing legibly...but we're working on it. :) He's friendly...he's quiet...he's a fan of routine...he is good at math and patterns...etc.

But something else she said stuck with me and while I've tried to brush it off, I can't stop thinking about it.

We were discussing his progress report and she mentioned how he has not shown much interest in coloring. I responded that he's never really been one to sit down and color in a coloring book...he finds it "putzy"...he prefers to be outdoors playing, or wrestling with his dogs, or helping me cook dinner. Her reply was "Well, that will change. We'll keep working with him and eventually he'll realize 'Hey! This isn't so bad'. We'll change his mind."

Ok...first of all, I do like his teacher. Don't take this AT ALL as a personal issue with her. And second of all, yes...I want my kids to be well-rounded...of course I do...but you know what?? Maybe he just doesn't like to freakin' COLOR!?!?! SO WHAT?!?!?! It's not like he's flat out refusing to do it...he just doesn't want to spend ten minutes coloring a snowman, when he knows that once he's finished with that he gets to play in the toy kitchen. You know?

Is coloring a life skill? Not so much! Math? YES! He needs math. He even LIKES math! Great! When he's 25 is he going to have a hard time finding a job because he doesn't want to sit down and color in his Madagascar coloring book? I really think he'll be alright.

Like I said...I think it's important to be well rounded. I think it's important for him to spend time doing things at school, even if they may not neccessarily be something he loves. But more than anything, I want him to enjoy his time love enjoy the things he wants to enjoy! I'm not asking for him to be exempt from coloring...I'm asking for him to be allowed to make the choice not to like it. I want to raise well-rounded, open-minded, creative, artistic children. But I don't want to force them to like something. I just can't.

Maybe I'm overprotective because he's my baby...and my most sensitive child. Or maybe, as my kids grow older, I'm finding more confidence in both myself and in my kids to recognize that hey...we don't have to accept every social norm on the planet. One kid doesn't want to color? Fine...sometimes we have to color because our teacher is in charge, but you don't have to like it. Tylenol for a fever? No thank you! No long hair on boys? Says WHO??

You know...maybe some day he WILL change his mind. Maybe someday he'll LOVE to color. I hated mushrooms when I was little. Now I add them to so many meals...we love them. Yummy! I also used to hate the color purple...but you has it's place. :) Or...maybe he won't. But that's his choice to make...not mine.

It's such a fine line, I think, between raising open-minded kids, and making their choices for them. It might seem worlds minded vs. my call...but it's not. Maybe their choice as an open minded child, is not to be so "free" and open-minded. So maybe in "failing", I'm succeeding. (Or maybe I'm just overthinking it alltogether...haha!)

At any rate, I hope I'm doing a good job walking that tight-rope. At least I know that no one can tell me I'm not trying.

**annnnd stepping down**


Brittany@Superwoman said...

I got the same deal at John's conference. "He won't take the time to color in the lines." So what?! He's 4, lol.
Being artistic myself, I sure wish he would take a liking to it someday, but I don't think less of him if he ends up only being able to draw stick figures.

Oh, and if it brightens things up a bit, Will brought home the best report card he's ever had today. All A's, S's, and only 1 B+! So he's going out to get a Wii game tonight as well as ice cream for some milkshakes.

It's the first time that he's gotten S's for both behavior and work habit. lol

Anti-Supermom said...

It just depends on the child - Henry just started coloring but prefers to work with wood, PVC, rubber bands over paper, Wyatt on the other hand could color all day long.

I'm sure that the teacher didn't mean it as poorly stated as she did.

BTW you are so lucky he likes math!

Suz said...

Just think about it

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