I had long believed that I would never be one to underestimate children. As a bright child, I generally felt that people didn’t realize what all I was capable of. As such, I feel that, to some degree, I never quite reached the heights I could have reached if that was understood.
As I began on the road to becoming a parent, this was a subject that ran around in my mind a ton. I knew children were incredibly bright. Their ability to disseminate new information, to learn new abilities, and just to be an overall sponge for knowledge, is limitless. I was dedicated to the idea of never underestimating my children.
The problem is. . . even with that intention, I still fail constantly.
Children are amazing. My kids, although I have high expectations for them, constantly exceed them. This morning, my 11 month old, when placed on the potty, immediately relieved his bladder. The experiment was more to build comfort with the toilet than it was any form of real potty training, yet, since it was morning and he had yet to pee, it just came out. He had seen me do it, he had a concept of what was going to occur, and it happened.
My almost 3-year old daughter has continually surprised me over her short life span. Her ability to pick up new words and ideas, to remember minor details about events of the distant past, to remember names and faces and words and . . . it’s inconceivable.
And yet we wait until these kids are 5 before we put them into any real schooling environment?
The first 3 years of a kid’s life are the years in which it’s easiest for them to pick up a foreign language. I don’t speak much for any foreign languages, but my wife is fairly fluent in German. The little bit we do speak and read to her in that other language has rubbed off. She may not consciously be aware of what we’re talking about, but her subconscious it obviously up to the task. The other day my wife asked her something along the lines of “Was willst du fur deine Geburtstag?” (What do you want for your birthday?). My daughter’s immediate response was, “I don’t know.” She recognized it as a question, but not the words. Yet, a few seconds later she erupted in, “Mom, I want a lightsaber for my birthday!”
I wish I had the time every day to just immerse my children in new experiences and information and let them become the super-geniuses they deserve to be. Alas, this is not possible at this point in time.
I wonder if a kickstarter for such a thing would actually pull in money. . .