by Hanna Vock
A girl from my kindergarten group started learning to read independently at the age of 4;9. When I pointed this out to the parents, they could not imagine it. At home she wouldn’t do anything like that. The little one did not want to be „tested“ by her parents at all in the kindergarten.
Ilka (name changed) was also very interested in all topics that arose in the kindergarten.
Ilka’s parents had no higher education and, according to their own statements, had a clearly distanced relationship to reading and books.
I had observed how they had been resisting their child’s „educational attempts“ for a year. So they did not allow her to borrow picture books from the kindergarten. When kindergarten trips to an observatory and a museum were scheduled, they left their daughter at home. They argumented that she was still too young for them. (It was certainly not due to the money, as the costs were paid from the kindergarten’s budget).
Ilka was good and did not rebel, but was very disappointed in the kindergarten and showed in her behaviour understandable envy for the other children, especially for the three year olds, who were allowed to take part in all excursions.
In the face of this severe imbalance between the child’s recognisable needs and the parents‘ denied support, which reached into the kindergarten sphere, I made another attempt after several conversations to persuade the parents, whom I felt to be well-meaning and loving parents, to cooperate.
So far I had felt out cautiously. We had talked about attitudes towards reading and books and I had predicted that Ilka could read very soon in my opinion and that she would later be a candidate for attending a grammar school. Her whole development points to that. Her parents were very reserved about it.
It was not the first time that I was confronted with such an attitude. Sometimes the parents are moved by a more or less conscious concern that their knowledge-hungry child might later on be over their heads and alienate and remove from them. They may also want to keep their child „on track“ if they are worried that they will not be able to support their child sufficiently in higher education. I suspected something like this with Ilka’s parents.
In this new conversation I intervened more massively to support Ilka more clearly. I told the parents my assessment that their daughter’s needs were recognizably different from their own. And that this was really about the needs of her talented daughter. If they overlooked it permanently, it could be that Ilka would later reproach them severely.
When I now had the increased attention of the parents, I briefly gave some thoughts on how they are described in the article „Special Playing and Learning Needs…„.
The parents were shocked and made it clear that they had not yet seen it this way. I suggested they take a talent test to check my statements. The parents were willing to have their daughter tested. After the clear test result, well explained by the psychologist, the parents were open for my tips and hints.
Date of publication in German: February 2019
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.