Monday, May 12, 2008

Oliver the Honest

It is difficult to not compare your child to others.  I generally believe that all kids are different and all parents are different and so there are an infinite number of parenting/learning styles, so why compare?  However,  I did find myself in an elevator wondering if other 3 1/2 year olds are as articulate as mine. 

As we were leaving Target the other day, a fire truck pulled up, sirens on.  I thought Oliver would be excited, but he kept moving toward the elevator to go to the parking garage.  He pushed the button, got in and did not look back at the truck.  Inside the elevator I said I was surprised he didn’t want to see the fire truck.  This is his response, word for word: I didn’t want to see the fire truck anymore,  It was too loud.  I wanted to get into the elevator quickly.

OK, I can’t argue with that.

Last night he accidently hurt his dad.  We don’t force our kids to apologize, but try to suggest it and model the right way to address someone who we have hurt.  Oliver was not paying attention to my suggestions, I suppose I should have let it go, but I asked him if he knew he hurt Daddy and why he hadn’t apologized.  He said “I hear ‘hurt,’ but I don’t understand.”

Again, I think “OK, hmm”   I give a little explanation, he hugs his dad and we let it go.  So, this is the problem with 3 year olds.  They just don’t get a lot of stuff yet.  He really does speak as well or better than my former kindergartners, but he just doesn’t quite get all the interpersonal stuff yet. 

He’ll tell you exactly what he has been up to, no matter how mischievous he has been or how embarrassing it might be to me.

I heard a story on Radio Lab on NPR about pathological liars last night.  The scientist speaking had done a study and found that pathological liars have more white brain matter than the average person.  She also noted that after age two, kids begin to develop that white matter as well. Noting that kids do not lie until 3 or so.  I have often thought that kids are incapable of lying until they have developed their imagination.   So the big parenting question is how do you develop an imagination (white matter) and not the liar.  My theory is to stay away from harsh punishments that encourage kids not to tell you the truth, but only time will tell if that will work.

Check out Radio Lab sometime.  It was an interesting show.  I love this American Life and last night we stuck around for the next show.  They said the podcast would not be up for 2 weeks, but it might be worth the wait.

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