Rather than signs of spring, we just made a rapid transition from summer to winter, coming from a month in Baja to icy snowy home at 15 degrees (-9.5C). But we don't really expect any spring for a month or so at least.
Originally Posted by moominmamma
A few questions to get things started:
Do you make an effort to address / nurture growth / encourage your children in areas that are not their natural inclination, or do you tend to focus on areas of strength on the assumption that the rest will get dragged along? Has this changed over time, or is it different for your different children?
What a good question! I struggle so much with this one, all the time, and am never sure I'm doing it right.
My 6yo: Mostly, she is easy. Flexibility is one of her natural strengths. She's social, a joiner, moderately curious about everything. Academically, she probably has given herself skills a little bit higher than "grade level" for most things, and I'm not sure I'd really count any of them as deep strengths or weaknesses.
The one difficulty of hers I do address is physical caution and fear. She's hesitant about things like swimming and skiing and scrambling, which is fine, but doing outdoor stuff is an important part of what our family does together, and she really wants to join in, so I spend more time trying to gently get her more comfortable. Mostly, that works well.
My 8yo: He is an incredibly spiky, totally unrounded kid, with amazing strengths, but also huge weaknesses in things that are pretty important. He's imaginative and a deep thinker, with an amazing conceptual grasp of science, a steel trap mind for interesting facts that he is good at making connections between, an intuitive grasp of math way beyond grade level with no on-paper work in his life, logic and strategy good enough to play geeky adult board games with geeky adults. But he can't read, struggles with emotional regulation, compromise, and kindness, can tantrum like a much younger kid, doesn't socialize with most other kids, and categorically dislikes and usually won't engage with huge swaths of important human culture (fiction and music).
I bounce back and forth between ignoring the weaknesses and trying to work on them. On one hand, I don't have much faith that his strengths will drag his weaknesses along (How would a good understanding of neurotoxic venoms and exponents help a kid with appropriate social behavior?). On the other hand, I can't turn him into something he's not, and don't want him to feel like we're trying to. We have come to a reasonably good mutual understanding about working on reading together in a more formal way -- he thinks it's necessary, though he doesn't like it, and he actually prefers formal reading lessons because they're predictable and sequential, and aren't packed with frustrating long or non-phonetic words like real books. I think in the past, his deep desire for information might have dragged reading skills along, but YouTube is a far better source than any book written for an elementary-school reading level. The social/emotional stuff is a thornier question that I really don't know what to do with.