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Question
Posted by: GO!!! | 2009-06-17

Should I push more or less??

Not sure if this is the right place to ask..
I have a 4 year old daughter, she is talking and singing and drawing and writing on the same level and sometimes a bit better than my 6 year old stepdaughter. I know you cannot ever compare children but she has a more steady hand in drawing, learns things very fast and is very eager to learn. she can also express herself quite well. if she doesnt like something i say she will tell me and ask me how we can get around it and she rationalises things. like if she ate all her dinner she will tell me that she has to get something because she needs to be balanced. enough food = some sugar to be given.
she also tells me that if i am allowed to say or do certain things she is also allowed to.
I am also taking extra time talking to her and explaining things like books that she likes to page through with pictures of dino' s and planes and things and we try to find out why planes fly and together we learn more about how the world works. I am worried as my partner is saying that i am treating her too much like an adult , i let her decide if she wants to take a bath in the evening before bed or if she wants to go to bed 10 minutes earlier and then get up earlier in the morning to bathe? am i giving her too much responsibility? i am teaching her how to do basic maths but only what she learns at creche i expand on.
I also help her to learn daily tasks and do things on her own. she can get her own porridge in the mornings and she can make a sandwich by herself and pour something to drink. Am i allowing her to grow up too quickly or should i still do almost everything for her? am i pushing too much with helping her explore and learn a more variety of things? can this do damage to her when she goes to school as a lot of people are telling me not to teach her anything as i will confuse her. she is also left-handed and has even asked me why other kids draw with the other hand and if she is wrong if she writes with her left hand. thanks.

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Our expert says:
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Sounds like you are keeping her AWFULLY busy for a kid of 4 --- they have a highly important job to do, being a child, and playing, which is essential, and shouldn't always be structured and organized. Sounds like you may be pushing her a bit more than would be desirable, and it seems you really identify with her and want her to hav every advantage you ever had, at whatever age, and then some. It is no helpful for a child at that age to be placed into an executive decision-making role. Be a mom as well as a friend.

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