Help...

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2003
Help...
12
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 9:26pm
I am afraid for my daughter... I don't think I will be very good at handling my daughter's academic life. I am already distraught and she is only 4.5 years old. I was 19 when I had her and I guess not really prepared for a child, I thought I was, but I was not. I failed to read to her as much as I should have, I failed to expose her to the things I should have, I am so far behind in teaching her and she is so smart that I feel I have done irreparable damage to her intellect. I don’t know what all she should be doing at this point but so many of my step-son’s siblings are already reading and the majority of them are right around her age.

I feel like the worst mother in the whole world. I am not really trying to excuse myself by saying this but I guess I just didn’t try very hard because my mom never did anything with me and I never struggled in the least academically, but now I see that she only recognizes about 10 letters and she can only count to maybe 15, and I realize that I have done less than I should have. There has been too much television, too much playing alone, too many worthless hours of watching me do my homework…

My pediatrician said that she will be fine and that she has abstract thinking skills that will take her farther than memorizing a bunch of letters and sounds, but what if he was only trying to be kind because I am a failure as a mother…

Help, has anyone ever seen a child at 4.5 that doesn’t recognize all of her letter or read in the slightest?

If you made it this far thank you and thank you in advance for any information…

~L

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: wise_athena
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 10:19pm
First calm down, I don't think you did any damage to your daughter. She might have to work a little and I say LITTLE harder in kindergarten then some kids. I helped in my older children's classroom when they were in kindergarten. Let me tell you there is a major difference between kids. There were kids there that couldn't count past 10 and there were kids there that could go over a hundred and add and subract. There were kids there that didn't know there ABC's at first there were kids there that could read.

My own ds who is 5 and going to kindergarten this year will have no problem with the math, yet he still confuses some of his letters. Each child is different and while knowing a lot going into kindergarten can give them an edge I don't think not knowing it all or even most of it harms them. If they were expected to know all this all ready what would be the point of kindergarten anyway. Your daughter sounds very normal and middle of the line. She probably won't struggle too much and she won't get bored either.

leesa

Leesa

I'll hold my head high
I'll never let this define
The light in my eyes
Love myself, give it Hell
I'll take on t

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2003
In reply to: wise_athena
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 10:27pm
for your response... I hope, sincerely, that you are right. My daughter has another year before Kindergarten because the cut off is Sept. 1 here and she will not be 5 until January. I guess if I work really hard the next year she will be fine. I thank you, ~L
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: wise_athena
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 10:29pm
Yup. Mine. Both of them at 4.5. Reading at this age (beyond reciting books they have memorized) is the exception, NOT the rule. Letter recognition is a matter of interest more than emphasis at this age, unless a parent or teacher drills the child.

(((((( hugs )))))) to you. Please relax. Your ped is absolutely right. The abstract thinking is most important since that provides the basis for lifelong learning. Letter recognition and reading will come when she's exposed to them daily and most of all when she decides it's important to her. If she really wanted to know these, she'd be bugging you until you HAD to help her learn.

Before she is done with K, she'll recognize her upper and lower case letters as well as practice pre-reading skills. When she gets to 1st grade, she'll learn to read.

My dd just finished 1st grade. She knows all of her letters and is reading age appropriate books. My ds just finished K. He knows all of his letters and is reading simple books.

Remember. I told you both of them were where your dd is when they were age 4.5. She'll be just fine. So, please channel that guilt into something helpful rather than torture yourself with it.

More (((((( hugs )))))),

Sarah





iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2003
In reply to: wise_athena
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 10:34pm
Sarah, I really needed to hear that... I am sitting here with tears in my eyes realizing that instead of telling myself how much I have already screwed her up I should be thinking of all the things I can do to make it better. I am taking her to the library tomorrow and if she wants all 25 books she can check out by goodness she can have them. I am not going to say, "no, only get a few."
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: wise_athena
Tue, 07-01-2003 - 10:02am
Have a great time cuddling and reading with her! My favorite part of the day. (nft)
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: wise_athena
Tue, 07-01-2003 - 10:27am
Don't kick yourself, at least you have recognized what hard work a child is & what they need to grow. Like you, my parents did nothing for or with me as a child and I grew up to be a very successful person in work & very good in school, although I admit that I'm floundering in trying to figure out how to be a good mom (no role model). It's hard when you are comparing kids against each other, they are all so different. My youngest is 4 & she absolutely refuses to sit down & try to write letters or her name. She does count up to 20 & sometimes beyond, but she wont sit down with me to practice writing. She also likes me to read to her but she won't even try to read a word if I ask her what it is, she's very obstinent. But I'm not worried about her, the more disciplined style of school & peer pressure will get her motivated when the time comes.

In answer to your question, I don't know if she recognizes letters, I ask her what a letter is & she refuses to answer me, also, she cant read in the slightest, I'm pretty sure of that. My 2 older boys were showing much more skill in reading at that age. Good luck & a big congratulations for you recognizing that kids need your time, energy & attention.

Avatar for teddyfor2
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: wise_athena
Tue, 07-01-2003 - 10:35am
Stop worrying! I worked at Dylans K class 1 day a week last year and a lot of the kids did not know their numbers or letters. Only 2 had any sight words and they all learned that in K.

The ability for abtract thought will get her far in life and that HUGE. Learning the ABCs is memory.

I need to always remind myself not to compare my kids to others, cause they are all different and learn things at different rates. Any mother that is so concerned with her dd as you are is not a bad mother, but a very loving one. BTW, hours of watching you do homework has shown her that you are never to old to learn (cause to her your a "old" lady LOL). Good for you.

My 6 yr old just woke up, so hug yourself, and your dd and go read her a book!

Sarah

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2003
In reply to: wise_athena
Tue, 07-01-2003 - 3:23pm
Thank you for your reply... I wish I had realized sooner that I was not doing a great job of parenting. I have always thought I was doing such a great job because my daughter got all of the right foods, visited the zoo constantly, had plenty of the right clothes, could play on her own (I always thought what whiny children everyone else had), but now I am sort of wishing my daughter had been at me all the time wanting me to read with her and maybe I would have read more and taught her more. I agree that it has a lot to do with the no role model, heck I am also trying to teach myself to clean, remember to take care of myself, etc. I know my mom tried but neither of my parents were high school graduates and by the time they had me their 6th child they were 40 and once they divorced she kind of just stopped raising us...

I remember going to school with unkempt hair and dirty teeth and thinking those were the things I wish my mom had been teaching me... I guess I just concentrated on all the things I remember being teased about; dressing appropriately, brushing her teeth properly, proper speech... I was so busy worrying that I would make the mistakes my mom made that got me teased that I didn't do the things that I should have regarding her education.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2003
In reply to: wise_athena
Tue, 07-01-2003 - 3:25pm
Thank you Sarah, I don't know what else to say except I am going to read one of those many library books she picked out ~L
Avatar for crackermommaof2
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: wise_athena
Tue, 07-01-2003 - 8:04pm
Don't beat yourself up! You are not the worse mom in the world, and actually it can be just as good, if not better to let a child learn at their own pace. My ds who just finshed K could not identify any letters in the alphabet except for those in his name at registration. He hated to color, knew most of his shapes (but messed up), did not know his address, and was just learning to say his phone number. All of which was asked at the screening. I was in tears by the time he was finished, I too felt like a huge failure, but everyone I knew said not to worry about it (these were co-workers of my dh who is a school teacher.) By the time he started K he knew all the letters of the alphabet upper and lower case, and knew his address and phone number. By the middle of K he was reading, and was ahead of his class. He was one of the few chosen early for accelerated reader, most kids in our school start mid 1st grade, and was the first K to reach the 20point level!

For now, just do what you can. Reading to your child is THE most important thing you can do. We read to our kids almost every night before bedtime. It's what works best for us. Other than that, I wouldn't worry. You have not damaged her for life, and I am sure she will do fine in school. It is very hard to change the parenting style you were raised with, but you can make little adjustments along the way. I really don't like when people make comparisons with their kids, every one is different, and everyone is better at some things than others. With my son's accomplishments, I have not said a word about it to anyone except the boards (because I'm so proud!) and to his grandparents. I'm low key with the rest of my family, and haven't said a word to the parents of ds's friends.

Okay, I'm finished with MY book now! HTH, good luck!

Stephanie

I wanted to add after reading the other posts, that you have done a wonderful job on working with appearance, and having a child who can entertain herself is a huge plus. She must have an excellent imagination. My kids watch a lot more t.v. than some people are comfortable with, but mos of the shows have educational value, Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street, etc. etc. There are so many good shows out there, and I can honestly say my children have learned lots of things from them.


Edited 7/1/2003 8:19:12 PM ET by crackermommaof2

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