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#1 of 9 Old 05-01-2013, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,


I had started some threads in the past regarding my 3 year old's reluctance to write and read but who only wants to play all the time with his cars. He is literally obsessed with his cars. I had some great responses for the other moms and their responses have laid my fears to rest. And how I was expecting too much from my son based on comparing with other kids. I thank you all for these great responses.


I have a concern though and would like to get some advices. Since he is my first one I do tend to go overboard with my concerns and fears. Please bear with me. 


I have an IPAD and give it my son daily for half an hour for doing car puzzles and watching youtube videos on cars and railroads. I closely monitor his IPAD usage. Also I have down loaded some apps on letter/number tracing and number games and spelling apps. Some times he does the tracing and spelling apps. But most of the time its only car puzzles and games. And sometimes when he is playing a bit longer on his IPAD i tell him to do some tracing and play some number games. But he does not do that and continues playing his car games. And I mainly give him IPAD only when I need to feed him his dinner. He does not sit in one place nor does he eat by himself. He goes to preschool in the mornings but does not each much there. So I him well in the eve. Otherwise he gets cranky easily. So If i give him the ipad I can get him to eat some thing.


So my concern is when i tell him to do some tracing, he tells me that "Tracing is bad. I don't like tracing. I want to play car games." I totally don't know how to handle this. For now its ok because he is still 3 yrs old. But what if this attitude continues. How do i make him sit and do academic stuff. I am really worried for him in the future. 


What do i tell him when he talks to me in this way. Do i still let him play with car puzzle and games for now. Or do I take away the Ipad when he refuses to do what i say.


Please help me.


Thank you!

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#2 of 9 Old 05-01-2013, 06:47 PM
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Let him play! They have so many years of childhood where they have to sit still and follow orders and be in school and do homework-- and so few years where they can just play! Let him play! Don't worry about academics yet- I think at three it is more important to set a strong foundation of them feeling safe in the world, and all that stuff and letting them have freedom to play and make choices where they can. Try to not worry about academics this early- I think- just let him be little!

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#3 of 9 Old 05-01-2013, 07:02 PM
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I agree. There is *no* benefit to making him do academics at this age when he doesn't want to. I would not even raise the issue of different games on the iPad, just let him play what he wants to.
Don't worry about how to deal with school work in the future. It may not be a problem and, if it is, you can address it then. Parent the child you have now :-)

If he is doing something with the iPad that he shouldn't, such as being too rough with it or something them I would calmly remove it and tell him why. If he gets upset, empathise but don't return it. Them try again the next day, reminding him that he must be gentle or it will have to be put away again.

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#4 of 9 Old 05-01-2013, 07:24 PM
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Maybe it would help if you tried to remember what your son was able to do/interested in a year ago and compare that to what he's capable of now?  Just try to keep in mind that your son will continue to make those leaps in understanding and ability, and when he's ready to learn writing and reading and other academic skills, it won't be so much of a struggle.


Also, I can't help but add that tracing letters is totally boring.  Even on an IPad :)

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#5 of 9 Old 05-02-2013, 05:21 AM
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My daughter is 2.5 and she does both play and learning at her little school. Nothing serious but I still think its great! Counting to 20, singing the ABCs, she came home with a shape book yesterday and seeds she had sprouted in a cup last week. These are playful age appropriate toddler activities. She's got a great teacher!! What kinds of things are they doing in your son's morning program? Maybe it's time to reexamine his school and switch before next fall.

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#6 of 9 Old 11-21-2013, 08:58 AM
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He's three! Let him play. Children learn by playing. Yes, kids go through periods where they love onr toy or game over all others. It's just the way they play. A lot of little boys this age play with toy cars all day long. It's good for them!


I can't imagine trying to "make" a 3 year old "sit still and do academics." Most will simply not be able to. Most three year olds need to be moving and playing all day. Most 3 year olds are simply too young to worry about academics. I say this as a mother of there academically gifted children, Only ONE chose, I stress CHOSE to "sit and do academics" at this age. I never forced her, it was her choice. And, even for her, that was only about two 30 minute session a day of her choosing. My other children might sit with a few minutes with a work book, color all over it and then run and play the rest of the day. That's normal and healthy!


All my children did well in school. But, it's virtually unheard of for a 3 year old to sit still.... for any reason. They need to move and play.


Just let him play as he chooses. He's only this young once. Let him have his childhood. There will be plenty of time for academics when he's emotionally and physically ready for them. This isn't the time for most kids.


You can't push him to excel. Pushing him when he has no passion for it won't result in him learning anything and only becoming resentful. That isn't healthy for him and isn't healthy for your relationship with him.


PLAY is the best activity for a child this age.

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#7 of 9 Old 11-23-2013, 11:57 AM
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Young children learn though play. No need to go out of your way to teach him anything at this age. They naturally learn and we naturally teach them, without even trying. Let him enjoy his early childhood!

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#8 of 9 Old 12-15-2013, 07:27 PM
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Absolutely don't worry about it. 


If you are concerned, find simple books about cars to have around the house, or sources of environmental print about his interest, maybe he will become interested in those during non-IPad time. 

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#9 of 9 Old 05-13-2014, 03:31 PM
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Absolutely agree with all that the others have posted, and want to add that trying to push him to do something that he doesn't inherently find enjoyable (like tracing or doing reading apps) can create negative associations where there might otherwise just be indifference.  In other words, let it go now and he may naturally become interested in later as he becomes developmentally ready for it, but push him towards it now when he doesn't want to and he might continue to resist it later.  I would especially back off if he's already telling you that tracing is bad.  You might be tempted to further encourage it and try to convince him that tracing is fun, but that is highly likely to backfire.  He is learning much, much more by playing with cars and enjoying himself than he would by  begrudgingly tracing letters.  


I'd also encourage you to look into some quality texts on child education and how they learn.  Anything by John Holt is great; you might check out this one:



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