It may seem otherwise, but I never set out for the boy to achieve a certain academic standard by 4 years old or at a certain age. I know for a 4 year old toddler, he's learning/learnt alot- and sometimes seemingly too advanced subjects. But honestly, I've never planned it to be this way. In fact, alot of things, I had thought he would learn it much later. For instance, I had in my mind that the appropriate age to teach him addition/subtraction was only at 5 years old. It never occurred to me that he would learnt it (and multiplication/division) by 4 years old. So how and why did we come so far? Well, I started home activities with sonshine to kill our idle time. We enjoyed it so we continued and kept learning & learning & learning and still learning! As for maths, he was very interested in it and learnt fast. I felt it was unfair to him if i made him learn numbers from 1-20 when he could learn up to 100. Or insist he keeps counting when he's ready for addition etc. Hence I kept moving forward as long as he was willing to stomach it. I don't teach him so that he'll be the smartest kid or to be ahead of everyone else. If this was the case, he'd probably be attending enrichment classes one after another but we've yet to send him for any- not even for music or sports (laziness is the word!). I teach because he wants & enjoys to learn. In fact, I dare not expect him to be the top in the class. But I do expect him to do his best and well especially in topics he knows so well. If he's capable of getting 80 points, I would not accept if he gives me 50. But neither will I demand 100 points if he's best is 80. Its not about how well he does compared to his peers, it's about comparing himself against himself- improving himself, that's important to me.
But I digress.
I was referring to my expectations on his behavior, his conduct. Nothing wrong with that of course but I feel that sometimes I forget that he's just a 4 year old. Certain behavior is normal (I didn't say acceptable) but I tend to get down hard on him especially with my words, i tend to expect him to be at his best 100% of the time. I'm not saying I should accept his wrong actions but I shouldn't be too quick to throw my fury at him without stopping to think the reason for his behavior. Many a times, after a calm reflection, i realised his wrong doing was done because he didn't know better & he wasn't trying to cause hurt or intentionally trying to disobey us. Sometimes its due to us not correcting him at home (because some things appear too small to correct) and he thinks its ok to do it elsewhere.
For instance, the other day, we were at a mall. They had free legos for the kids to play. A kid built a really tall tower, taller than sonshine. He actually went over and pushed it down to see it crash. I was furious and punished him. He was so upset that he cried the entire mall down- this has never happen before in his 4 years. But, i soon realised it was because that's how we played with him at home. We would build blocks high up and push it down. Also, it could be due to his obsession with the Angry Bird game , he probably was trying to reenact the scene (roll eyes). He wasn't trying to destroy the tower to spite the other kids. But, yes. It was partly our fault.
I guess what i'm saying is, i need to be gracious in my parenting. I need to discipline with grace, i need to discipline with less emotions, i need to stop & think why he's behaving in a certain manner. I need to do better. I need more grace. I need Jesus.