My daughter and I have been going to the same spot in the woods for around 4 weeks, so she can go to Waldkinder (kids go mad in Swiss woods for a few hours and get very muddy). At the meeting place is a wonderful carved bear. My daughter loves to sit on it so she can spy on new arrivals and swing her legs. She insists this is a Polar Bear.
I, taking on the teacher role, (and concerned she didn’t understand climates etc..) went about teaching my daughter the difference between a polar bear and a brown bear, including habitats and extinction.
Week 2 – she wants to sit on the “Polar Bear”. I remind her, that its a brown bear.
Week 3 – “Mummy, can I sit on the Pol…..” “Honey, its a brown bear. I know, lets just call it a bear, huh?”
Week 4 – “I’m going to sit on the Polar Bear!”
It was then it hit me. She knows what it is. She is fully aware that Polar Bears don’t roam the Swiss Mountains. She thinks Polar Bears are cool, and wants to pretend that the carving is a Polar Bear. As the fabulous SkypingReadingTutor was saying to me this evening, kids need parents to be parents – to be the source of love, not to be teachers – especially when they haven’t asked for it (and just want to sit on a bear – Polar or otherwise!).
(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blacktigersdream/6996540318/)