I was reminded of this from a recent interaction I had with my four-year-old
granddaughter, Alice. We were driving in the car when I spotted a person riding
his bike in the snowy, 20 degree weather. I commented to her about how brave he was to be
riding outside in the cold.
“Would you like to ride your bike in the snow and cold?” I asked.
She responded after a minute, “Well, I would like to practice riding my bike to get
better. I don’t want to do it in the snow. It is too cold in the garage. Bubby, my thoughts
are mixed up”.
“You are confused,” I commented.
“My thoughts are all mixed up. I can’t put my hands inside my head to separate them.”
This concrete perspective while developmentally appropriate, posed a dilemma for her. At times where there is a cognitive dilemma, if at home or in the classroom, it is most helpful to use language of physical objects or activities in your explanations. And perhaps as important, is to both inwardly and outwardly affirm and relish the emergence of their growing sense of self.