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Her toddler was unable to write letters and numbers, or recognise them when jumbled up, calling them ‘dancing letters’, but this mother realised what the problem was.
It was such a relief for Arthi that her 4-year-old Ananya had got admitted into one of the good schools in the city and had started attending classes.
Her little one Ananya was a brat at home, but usually took a month or so to adapt and start mingling in any new place. This was the case with the playschool she went to, or any play zone that they went to. Ananya chose to observe, judge, and then decide who to mingle with, and whether to mingle at all or not.
Knowing how she was, Arthi was a little worried as to how her toddler would settle down. To her surprise, the little one got super excited the first day itself because she loved her teacher. She started describing how her Ma’am spoke, how she addressed people, how she draped her saree all neat and tidy, and so on.
Arthi was happy that her toddler was happy. As days passed, classes began and her little one started reciting rhymes aloud and one fine day, she even told a good story in English which made her mom beam in joy. But her little angel did not enjoy writing much. Any small worksheets that were given, Ananya preferred finishing the coloring, matching and other logical stuff and leave the writing to her Amma. “Amma now I am the teacher, it’s your turn to write,” she told her mom, pointing at the sleeping line worksheet. Her mom tried to make her sit but she just ran away. Arthi did not believe in forcing her to do what she didn’t want to and let her do what she felt like.
3 months later, they had the 2nd parents-teachers meet and her teacher said they would assess the kid on various parameters in the next month, and so slowly they had to keep them prepared. She also said to not force them into reading or writing, but try the best to teach what they can.
After the weekend, mom, dad and Ananya gathered in a room and Arthi decided to try the play way to teach. As she wrote numbers, Ananya had to recognise them. If it was written in the correct order Ananya would say it correctly but jumbling confused her. She said, “The numbers are dancing Amma. I can’t find out what they are.”
Arthi then tried making Ananya the teacher and Ananya started drawing immediately. Arthi said, “Ma’am, can we write numbers?” Ananya wrote 1 correctly and after that the numbers were either mirror images or in some other direction or she mixed them up completely.
Arthi kept trying to teach her every day for a few days and did not see much improvement and then she tried up reading about toddlers writing mirror images of alphabet and numbers. To her surprise, it was very common for kids of age 3 to 7. It was common because till now they had been asked to relate a thing with a name and even if a table is in a different direction, it still is a table. So is a fruit, a vegetable, a car or a pencil. Now to introduce a new concept for them to relate to a pattern and assign a name to it in a specific direction alone might take time for the small mind, she deciphered.
Arthi understood that she needed more time, and there was nothing to panic or to force her to learn to write correctly. She was sure Ananya would learn this new concept soon and chose to keep her patience. Ananya continued with her dancing letters and numbers, but rocked her rhymes and stories.
Author’s note: If a child continues with mirror images, has less concentration, is unable to grasp rhymes or stories orally, and is struggling at hand-eye coordination for a prolonged period, then a pediatrician’s intervention is important. If it is only mirror imaging when newly introduced to alphabets and numbers then it is absolutely normal. Please refrain from forcing, scolding or beating the kid. It will only make them run away from writing. Just keep trying and remember you are introducing them to a new concept and they need time. Happy teaching!
Published here earlier.
Image source: pixabay