A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Reversing the Homework Blues: The Almost 9 Year Old Turns 9

The 8 year old turned 9 yesterday and we decided this year that as a way to encourage her, we would buy her a camera for her birthday. I had been against her having electronic devices for some time but I felt that a camera would be an outlet for her creative energies and it won't be as addictive as a games device.
(Note: This is not a blanket statement about other people's children having electronic devices if parents deem them helpful. I once got into a minor argument with another mother about why I didn't want my 8 year old to own a DS Lite. Still not sure how that happened. But for me, it's a huge responsibility and some children don't appreciate their value and it becomes another thing that parents will have to exercise control over.)

Children are characters and personalities, hence, it's quite important to treat them as individuals... The whole one size fits all kind of parenting doesn't really work I don't think. It is easier no doubt just to do the exact same thing with every child but then you'd have one feeling resentful and the feeling superior. More and more as I observe my own girls, I think the whole love languages thesis is quite sound.

There's very little doubt in my mind that the 9 year old's love languages are receiving gifts and words of affirmation. Words of affirmation was easy to pick because the moment she could verbalize her thoughts (which was very early), she complimented herself repeatedly. As she got older, she became very popular with the mothers of our preschool dishing out compliments about their hair, dress and whatever else they had on at the time. She was a five year old that sounded like a 21 year old. As I often tell people, I have no idea where she gets it from.

I was brought up to think that it was wrong to expect gifts from people and while I do think there's a lot of truth to that, the reality, however, is there are people in this world who get a huge buzz when they get gifts and it isn't about being materialistic. They see the gift as an expression of love from the giver. It's something I've had to rethink because I come from a background and culture that puts much emphasis on being deserving of material gifts. If I wanted something, I had to earn it. Generally speaking, it's not a bad principle for motivating and encouraging achievement. But it's the opposite for my 9 year old. She seems far more motivated to act when she's been given something or when she's affirmed for accomplishing her tasks. And from what I've seen, it doesn't have to be anything expensive or big.

So anyway, she's been snap-happy the last two days, following in the footsteps of her grandpa.
Her are some samples of her work.

1 comment:

  1. Love the pics! And great reflections about knowing and accepting your children.


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