Children's different strengths and weaknesses

July 22, 2011 1:58pm CST
My 5 year old daughter told my 4 year old son today that he isn't very good at drawing. He didn't get upset, he just asked her to help him. I wish she wouldn't say things like this though. She is brilliant at art, and design technology, but not so great at English, and as for music, she is tone-deaf! My son has not yet started school but is showing a talent for music and incredibly, has taught himself more about computers than I know! He can edit programs and settings without any guidance. I don't like it when one child tells another that they're "not good" at something. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and I want them to focus on the postives.
2 people like this
7 responses
@dorannmwin (36608)
• United States
25 Jul 11
You are definitely right that each and every child has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses. For example, my daughter is a brilliant writer and she has an imagination that cannot be beat. My son, on the other hand is really good with the spoken word and also a wonderful builder. They are obviously two very different children, but it is clear to see that each of them are gifted in their own ways.
1 person likes this
23 Jul 11
Never gonna happen. Kids constantly compare and criticise. That's just the way it is. It's part of the learning process and, although it sounds mean, it's also part of preparing for the real world where your employer will have absolutely no qualms about telling you "you suck" and firing you on the spot. If she was teasing him about it or going on about it all the time, then sure, step in. But a single comment's nothing. My parents spent my entire childhood telling me "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything" and it didn't make the slightest bit of difference! Once they get to 20-25 years old, they'll understand. Until then, they'll compare and comment on absolutely everything. They may not do it in front of you but I can guarantee they'll do it. All you can do is encourage them to ALSO comment about good stuff.
24 Jul 11
I think it bothers me more because I was never much good at drawing and my sister was. My mother used to admire my sister's artwork, and show it off to everyone, but if I had made a picture and put lots of effort in, she laughed because it wasn't very good. I don't want my kids growing up thinking they're inferior because they're not as good at something as someone else is
1 person likes this
25 Jul 11
That's a fairly normal parental "trap", trying to fix things that were wrong when we were kids. In your case, it's a good fix, but I doubt you'll get them to stop comparing between them: the fact that you're proud of them both for what they do is the vital bit, in my opinion. My parents were like that: they couldn't make us (5 boys, aaargh!) stop comparing stuff but they were both always pleased with whatever we did, as long as we did our best. Even if it was crap.
30 Jul 11
I'm still trying to impress my parents, maybe I should have given up by now. Ooh your parents were brave raising 5 boys, kudos to them, I don't think I could do it!
1 person likes this
• Pakistan
22 Jul 11
First and foremost, for and 5 year old and 4 year old, both your children are very accomplished for their respective ages! Now coming to the topic on hand, well what you have witnessed is not new!! And your going to find that its not just the siblings who do that but basically everyone is guilty of committing this little folly! But i am impressed by your son's response!! And you won't face any problem concerning the young man!! Somebody who replies like this won't end up facing any kind of depression, frustration etc. The attitude is that positive so no need to sleep lightly!!!
22 Jul 11
He is a very easygoing little guy. He knows what he is good at and what he isn't. I hope he will remember this as he grows up, and not let other people's comments worry him
• Pakistan
23 Jul 11
Oh he will!! If he is that cool and comfortable in his own skin at such a tender age, he will be wonderful person as he grows up!
1 person likes this
@mindym (979)
• United States
22 Jul 11
Oh, kids, they say the darnest things, don't they? They just say whatever comes to their mind without thinking whether or not it will hurt someone's feelings. I am glad your son did not get mad and asked for help. Children learn things through other children, so he probably knows he is not a good drawer (but developmentally he doesn't have to be), and she is, so he figures he can learn through her. You are right, every child has strengths and weaknesses and they aren't always the same as other children. Children tend to think that everyone should be like them. Both of your children have great art talents, your daughter just expresses talent on paper and your son expresses art through music.
22 Jul 11
I got my daughter's school report last week. In summary, it says she is great with art and computers, not so good with English and maths, but excels in daydreaming and popularity, lol
• Philippines
23 Jul 11
Hi marriane.. i was just catch with the word daydreaming. You have to observe your child because we this so called " absence seizure" which is very common to children . This kind of seizure tends to manifest as a "blank stare".I agree with you though, children like any other people has strengths and weaknesses. I think this is one way of God's way limiting our domination against each other:)
@thatgirl13 (7307)
• South Korea
23 Jul 11
wow both your children seem to be talented. They are so young yet they know different stuffs. Your son can operate the computer?? wow!! when i was 4 i don't know what i was doing. I just learned computer after joining school. Theyre really great, your kids Anyway kids are innocent. I just think your daughter said what she felt truthfully. you knn=ow how kids say as they see it. Anyway it was really big of your on to take i the positive way and to ask her to help him. aww cutiess
4 Aug 11
Well they are interested in things they see in daily life, and what they see me doing, so I've always tried to encourage them to try things out. I didn't realise how good my son would be with computers though, when I get a new one I will give him this one! I think he was about 18 months old when he first started experimenting with them, though I doubt he knew what he was doing. He does listen to what his big sis says. There's only a year and a half between them and often I feel like I have twins, they seem to be joined at the hip and they value each other's opinions more than mine.
• Australia
1 Aug 11
It is all part of life especially with siblings. And if he then asked her to help him and she did it might be encouragement in a weird childlike way! I don't think it's more important to focus on encouraging each other and instead of being nasty when someone isn't good at something tell them what they do that you like! It's a great way to let somebody know their good qualities and usually compliments are met with compliments and everybody wins. this advice may however be harder to implement in real life.
@maximax8 (27049)
26 Jul 11
Your children are close in age and one is a girl and the other is a boy. Usually girls like drawing and get much experience of it. I know my 2 year old daughter loves drawing and coloring however my disabled 4 year old son just isn't interested. I like to focus on the positives with my children too. I give my children praise and some guidance to develop their skills. In Art in a class it is superb to hold up and piece of work and get the children to say what thy like about it. My teenager son is great with History, Maths, Art and Religious Studies. My disabled 4 year old son is very imaginative and he loves books. My 2 year old daughter loves books, drawing and coloring. My 4 year old son is enjoying learning about his laptop. My two youngest kids are great at music. I am an tone deaf though.