Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Literal Mind vs. An Imaginative Mind

Builder Boy and Early Bird are so different sometimes it seems like they are complete opposites. It's amazing the variety and diversity that can happen from the same genes. Builder Boy has blue eyes and for the first 4 years of his life his hair was blond. Early Bird has dark chocolate brown eyes and dark brown hair. Builder Boy is a kinetic learner. He likes physical things. He builds complex structures, loves math, and enjoys watching real life videos learning about construction or vehicles. Early Bird is an auditory/visual learner. He loves music and songs, and has a great memory for them. He like stories, talks with his stuffed animals, and talks through them. They play in totally different ways. And this is causing a conflict.

When Builder Boy "imagines" things, it's always something that is from the real world, and usually with his blocks. He'll organized a factory (he loves How It's Made) or contraptions. He's not pretending he's the factory, he's not pretending he's a factory worker. He's just running it, making it "work" and imagining that. When Early Bird imagines things, he's a different person (like a pirate or the gingerbread man,) he's an animal, or he's talking to a stuffed animal and they "talk" back to him. These are all things that Builder Boy never did at that age, and still doesn't do on his own (although he has pretended to be Bob the Builder.)

A few weeks ago they fought over Early Bird's imaginary piggies. Early Bird was imagining some piggies to play with. He had them sitting on a blanket with him, he was talking to them and petting them, picking them up and hugging them, all of it. Builder Boy came over to "play" with the piggies, too, and Early Bird freaked out. I told Builder Boy to imagine his own piggies. That he could imagine as many piggies as he wanted. But nooooo, he kept trying to "steal" and pick up Early Bird's piggies. Really.

Today they fought over whether or not Early Bird could pretend he was a mouse. Early Bird was just sitting, holding a play slice of cheese, and squeaking and saying "I'm a mouse!" Builder Boy started insisting that he was a person, not a mouse. That it was wrong to pretend to be a mouse. Where does that come from?! Oil and water, those two. Yet separate them to keep them from fighting and they either fight from a distance or get upset that they aren't allowed to be together. Brothers.

It is so interesting to see how differently their minds work, how different their personalities and learning styles are. It's a challenge, and keeps me from getting static, forcing me to think of approaching things in different ways. I just need to find a way to get them to relate to each other better. At least I know that they love each other very much.

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