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May 27, 2014

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Okay, I struggled with that title for so long that I finally gave up and just left it at that. It was the best thing I could come up with to capture the essence of today’s post.

As a parent, I know I want the best for my kid’s future. What parent wouldn’t? We all try our best to the best of our means but I’ve long since realized that it’s not about how much ‘stuff’ you throw at them. As parents, we love our children wholeheartedly and it’s this kind of positive emotional environment that allows them the space to flourish. Part of that requires us to respect children as capable individuals, to give them the space to learn and problem solve independently and for us to provide guidance or support as needed.

Why am I saying all of this? I do have a point, really.

In our home, we’ve always encouraged our big kid to be inquisitive, to think beyond the information that she’s been given. We use a lot of open ended questions to fuel her thinking beyond the obvious and it does pay off. Every now and then, we glimpse that big brain of hers at work.

Case in point: it’s time for a snack. She opts for crackers. She notices that the first box only has about 3 left so she asks if she can grab the other box as well. I agree. She reaches into the cupboard, grabs the other box, and says quite matter of factly, “Yeah, I think I’ll get this box too. There are probably about 10 in there.”

We opened the box and she was right. There were exactly 10 crackers left.

How did she figure that out? The box was still closed so she couldn’t see inside it. When we counted and confirmed that there really were 10 crackers left, she let out a big ‘YES! I was RIGHT!’ and I was surprised. I asked how she was able to figure it out.

Her logic: she knew how heavy the other box was with only 3 crackers and was then able to predict that there might be 10 left in the second box.

Pretty cool, huh?

Now, I’m pretty sure her ability to accurately predict and make estimations comes from all the brain work she’s done along the way. She gets practice at school (they just finished a unit on estimates and measurement a little while ago) and she’s had plenty of opportunities to analyze and problem solve. This isn’t the first time that she’s surprised us with her answers or thoughts. This just happens to be the most recent event that triggered this post!

The more those wheels turn, the better they work.

The brain, it really is a beautiful thing. Gotta love it and appreciate it!


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