Thursday, 30 July 2009

Not me then?

Judging by your comments on my last post it's not me, then.

Thank goodness.

I did feel a little sorry for the girl. Her mother and I do have quite different approaches: she drives her daughter round the corner (in her 4x4) to Rainbows while I walk with Izzy across the bridge over the brook and play pooh sticks, she gives her daughter a mobile phone and a Ninento DS, I give Izzy paper, funky foam and glue, she takes her daughter to activities after school every day, I take Izzy home and do reading or number games with her - you get the picture.

I also felt a little sorry for Izzy who had been so looking forward to her coming to play. I knew something was amiss when I heard Izzy saying:

"If you don't want to do lego or colouring or music, what do you want to do? Why don't you want to do anything? Don't you want to play with me?"

I also realised that Izzy has come a long way since I wrote on this blog earlier this year about not signing her up for lots of afterschool activities and spending time with her myself or encouraging her to play by herself instead. She is now very good at playing imaginatively with her dolls, lego, kitchen, etc for at least 30 minutes on her own and you should have seen the globe she made for her dad's birthday this week out of blue tissue paper and green funky foam (with absolutely no input from me whatsoever) - he was so delighted with it!

I'm sure the little girl down the road is so used to having everything organised for her and just 'reacting' to activities that are presented to her that when she was faced with a lot of 'open ended' toys in Izzy's bedroom she didn't know where to start.

In the long term I suspect this will affect her concentration at school and also her ability to think creatively and to problem solve. I am seeing this at school already with the number of children who just want to be spoonfed. They want me to tell them what to do rather than guide them into working it out for themselves. Where will the engineers, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and politicians of the future come from if we can't raise a generation to think imaginatively to solve problems?

14 comments:

scrappysue said...

indeed. unchartered territory - i feel for the teachers!!!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

every child learns skills at a different rate...but a mobile phone WTF!

You stick to your guns, you know your child best and are doing right by her... I'm so with you here..

gigi said...

I agree with you 100%

kim said...

Your parenting style gives me hope! Keep it up, pleeeease. We need more of you in the world.

Maggie May said...

I'm surprised you even thought it might be your fault.

Izzy is better off by far & I expect the little girl was spoilt for choice when she saw Izzy's things.

A mobile phone is a ridiculous thing to get a child, unless they are travelling to secondary school alone. Then they are a useful means of communication for an emergency.

Mean Mom said...

I have total faith in you and your parenting. I've just caught up with your last post. A mobile phone? What sort of a bill does the child run up on that, at her age, then? Scary! I remember, as a child, that our back garden served both as a pirate ship and a wool shop for my friend and I to play in. To an adult, it just appeared to be a normal garden, of course, but, to us, it was anything we could imagine.

Moannie said...

Izzy will help her to play imaginatively, you ARE doing the right thing.

cheshire wife said...

Having everything on a plate is not was the answer and never will be the answer.

Dusty Spider said...

You're so right! I can't see where our thinkers of the future will come from either. You've hit the nail on the head. I knew I was uncomfortable with all the organised play that children are "subjected" to. You've put it into words for me. Now I can reinforce my point of view with your wisdom. Thanks so much Working Mum. Flick xx

Kelloggsville said...

My daughter has friends that are already doing "the teens": I wonder what they will do when they actually get to that age. Nobody of our age says "gosh, wish I'd grown up faster and not played more" - stick with it, Izzy will find friends that suit her path.
x

Claire Sutton said...

I hate to say it but I do stear eldest son away from kids like this at school if I possibly can. i want him to remain oblivious to things like kids having mobile phones. As for DS's, we've managed to steer clear so far (we do have a PS3 at home but at least it has to stay there and not come on day trips with us!!!)although not for much longer I fear. Lego is still his (and our) favourite and so much imagination goes into it.

Oh and "bored" is a word I have banned!!!

Really Rachel said...

Here here! I used to feel so frustrated by children who wanted to be 'spoonfed' at school. If something wasn't immediately interesting or easy, they gave up. Grrr. I'm sure your approach with Izzy will pay dividends.

Housewifeinthehighlands said...

You are right! Definitely. Children need unstructured time to play and use their imaginations. They need to learn how to entertain themselves. I am constantly amazed at the games my daughter comes up with and the scenarios she creates. I love that free imagination of childhood. It is so sad that some children don't get the opportunity to develop in this way.

And a phone at age 5! I have never heard the likes. My daughter is so old-fashioned she wants to make and write invites to her party!

Iota said...

Hear, hear!

And they'll all have attention spans of fleas, too.