Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008 Part 2

So I have been wondering how to handle Nick's reluctance to let me show him how to hold a pencil or crayon. I have offered to show him many times and he always says no. He gets upset with me if I try to get him to let me show him.

One day this week, he finally let me show him one time, only because I was talking about how he will have to learn to hold his pencil correctly so he can learn to write like daddy. Any time I talk about being like daddy, I get his attention pretty quickly. Even so, as adamant as he has been about not wanting me to show him, I was surprised that he let me show him even with the daddy-carrot. After I showed him, he only tried it for a couple of minutes before switching back to his fist-grip on the crayon.

 Everything I have read says to make sure they learn to hold it correctly from the beginning so I am starting to get a bit concerned about this and wondering if I need to start forcing the issue (if you want to write/color, you have to try to hold the crayon correctly?). He loves to color and draw (scribble) and cut and paste and all that and I have not wanted to curtail his interest so I have not pushed the issue up until now.

I read somewhere that one way to get a child to hold a crayon correctly is to break the crayons so they are so short that they can only hold it with their finger tips, much like holding a small piece of chalk to write on a chalk board. So, when they were not around, I broke all of their crayons:). I really didn't think they would even notice, as they had already broken some of them. Nick did notice right away and mentioned it to me several times over the following days, which was funny. I don't think I broke them into small enough pieces though because he can still hold most of them in his fist-grip.

He is a very strong willed child and I often wonder, if I have this much trouble just getting him to let me show him how to hold a crayon, what is it going to be like homeschooling this child? I think I have my work cut out for me. Also, if potty training him is any indication of how homeschooling is going to go, I'm in big trouble.


ChandraJoy said...

Have you tried the triangle shaped crowns? They are made to help children grip properly. Might be worth a shot.

Lea said...

No, I did not even know such a thing exists. I just Googled it though and I think I may have to give this a try. Thanks!

Jana H said...

I think it will come with time. You just kind of have to let him discover it. Give it to God and it will work out when it's supposed to.

Miekie said...

Maybe he is so determined not to hold it properly, because it is too difficult for him? I wouldn't force the issue, but watch out for the development of his fine motor generally and specifically his pincer grip: Give him peg boards with smallish pegs, flat shapes that you can only pick up with a pincer grip. You could try washing pegs, but my guess is that they will still be too hard for such a young child. Theoretically a child's fine motor development must first be stimulated through gross motor development. Regularly do wheelbarrow walking e.g. every night to the bathroom before his bath. Can he hang from his arms from a cross beam on the jungle gym? Try to get him to swing from bar to bar or too climb up a pole or knotted rope (again he might be a bit young)These exercises will strengthen his shoulder and arm muscles, making fine motor control easier.
I agree with the triangle shape grip, but the ones we have in South Africa only fit pencils. I suggest you let him use thick wax crayons any way he wants to, but if he wants to use "nice" drawing material like thick felt tipped pens or thick pastels, he has to hold it correctly. I would stay away from colouring books and work sheets. In my experience (23 years pre-school) they definitely hamper creativity. Let him scribble and paint all he wants to.
Thank you for visiting my blog. Please let me know how your sons are doing. Their pictures are adorable!

Jana H said...

Thank you, Lea, for the comment on my blog. It's such an encouragement. I can't wait to see you too! Love you and your beautiful family so much.

Aubrey said...

I think I use to have some of those trianguilar things!!..I love you so much! We are going to be about an hour away from Philly...which is where we are flying into. I don't kno if u read the comment that i posted on ur blog earlier this week, but I wanted to tell u the time of my choir concert that I put on ur calander some time's @ 730 tomorrow night..if u can't make it I understand as there is a bigger/better one on Dec's the Christmas one. but let me kno either way!...Love you!!..give the boys kisses for me!!.. ;)

Lauri said...

Livi did this too.. and she came around. You are right, breaking the crayons short, encourages the proper grasp according to our OT. I still think Livi likes the old grasp, but we encourage the right grasp when we can. She uses the proper grasp 90% of the time.

Will he hold his fork & spoon properly? if so it could be this is just his preference for coloring and he will outgrow it.

Offer him lacing beads, cheerios on a pipe cleaner is fun as well- to make edible bracelets. Look for other ways to encourage his fine motor skills and I bet he will come around.

I get you on the strong willed issue.