Sunday, July 16, 2006

"I don't like it."

Lately, while he's at my house, Jonas has had a bad attitude towards his own artwork.
He's overly critical and will throw a fit after having drawn just a single line because he doesn't like where it's going. He'll just get started with something then crumple it up and say "I don't like it. I need another paper."

Jonas I fear has gotten some of my young perfectionism in him. I remember having many fits of my own all the way through high-school with band. I would throw a fit, scream, yell, and cry. It wouldn't matter. If I didn't do something up to my own standards, I was mad and that was that. Through college I had several awakenings that helped me to change my outlook on my own performance in things.

Jonas is doing some of those same things. He will get frustrated with his own singing or drawing or painting. He will get mad if his letters don't look as good as he wants them to. The frustration is in a lot that he's doing. I always try to assure him that I will love him no matter what, and that him trying makes me happy. He doesn't have to be the best at everything. Am I proud about how smart he is for 4? Absolutely. And I do what I can to encourage him to keep developing that. I don't even think that it's for bragging rights. I think the more I can instill into him a learning attitude at this age, the easier all of school will be for him. My only fear is that things will be so easy that he's bored. School systems don't encourage kids to push beyond the minimum expectations and as such many smart kids get bored and burned out.

But for now the biggest thing is that I have to not only instruct Jonas with his behavior. I have to lead by example. I cannot throw a fit in front of my kids and not expect them to do the same thing. I cannot live with telling them not to do something that I do. That's why I exercise, eat healthy foods, work out in the yard, and don't watch much t.v. I don't want them to say, "But dad, you do it". I don't and I can always use that. There's no greater teaching method than leading by example.