First Child Syndrome

 My wife informed me, as we detoxed from dinner-bath-bed routine, that two of my daughter’s contemporaries who are also first children can now write their names. Our daughter has always lagged these two in language development, yet the impulse to wake her up and get her started writing not only her name but a long dissertation on the relative merits of crunchy cereal versus many color Cheerios (multigrain).

I have to push down this impulse, but how much? Right now, she is happily tracing her name on a placemat that her father-in-law brought to us many moons ago. This is her right place, or is she doomed to never be admitted to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, or any other big name school?

Having taught in elementary school for a long time, I have seen many first children who were pushed way beyond comfort levels to perform well academically. They became people pleasers and perfectionists to the point of major anxiety. Also, these students were often the ones who had difficulty taking risks intellectually, and thus did not develop their intuitive skills. All of this is something I want to avoid for my daughter. So is not being able to spell her name at three and a half helping?

All I know that is today, we baked bread, we cooked potato dal (she used the food processor and measured ingredients; I did the chopping), and she walked to the store and back for groceries. She must be learning something.



1 Comment

Filed under development, Food

One response to “First Child Syndrome

  1. The fact that you include your kid in your daily activities (that are productive 🙂 ) is way more than a lot of parents do. Don’t sweat it, she’ll get there!

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