Drew has definitely had his fair share of behavioral challenges but for the most part he has been consistently ahead of the curve. He rolled over at 10 weeks, he peed on the potty for the first time at 18 months, he plays baseball like a 5 year old, etc. So although I may sound like a bragging mom, I never really have had to worry about him meeting development milestones.
Drew will be 4 in June. I’m not sure why I mention that, because I don’t know if that makes him young or old in terms of educational growth but it’s just a fact. He cannot write his name. He does a very rough D and a strong E which sometimes has a few extra lines attached. For Valentine’s Day we made cards for his classmates and we worked very hard on him signing his name. Most of the time it resulted in me guiding his hand because he would get frustrated.
The teacher has mentioned on several occasions that his fine motor skills are a bit lacking. She suggested activities with tweezers, crumpling up papers and extra coloring. In addition, he holds his scissors upside down and really has a hard time cutting up things. All of this we have been working on but not really getting anywhere.
I have always been, and will always be, a proactive mom. If the teacher says he needs extra help with this, I’m going to do everything I can to assist him. But I do feel a little ambivalent about this. This may sound defensive, and if so feel free to set me straight, but I feel like we are so forced to focus on these things at such an early age these days.
When I was young, preschool wasn’t necessarily a must. Educational standards, or progress milestones, were not even slightly considered until kids were school age. Children were not held accountable until they were in a formal school setting. Nowadays most everyone goes to preschool. And we clearly have a much more firm grasp on how helpful early intervention can be for so many problems. So everyone has become more critical of certain skills so that you can get the appropriate therapies and be more prepared by the time your child enters their formal educational years.
If other kids are performing at a certain level, I most definitely want to make sure that Drew is comparable with them. I want to give him every advantage to be successful in his life. That all being said, is it really fair to judge a 3.5 year old’s ability now? Is it possible he’s just a boy that is a little less interested in fine motor type activities thus he is a bit lacking? And with time and maturity he will be a writing machine?
As a teacher, I notice boys tend to lack in the fine motor skill area. Girls are much better. Age does play a proponent. Seth turns 5 tomorrow, but his fine motor skills are just coming along. He isn’t interested in coloring, and like Drew, he would much rather be playing baseball. You can’t compare kids. Even when they are the same age. A kid who turns 4 in Jan and a kid who turns 4 in July are going to be developmentally different. The kid who is 6 months older, has that extra 6 month advantage. Don’t stress about….Drew will come into his own when he is ready!
I’m really glad you responded, Richelle. I like the insight you provide coming from a teaching background and a mother of a sports fanatical son. I really agree about the difference in age. It doesn’t help Drew’s case that there are not a lot of boys in his class and some of the girls are up to 9 months older than he is. If you can, please try and post more often. I really value your opinion.