Left-brained mother, right-brained child…Why my child would be lost without Disney Junior.

Everyone at this point in my blog knows that my son faces some unique challenges when it comes to learning. He was a 31 week preemie that faced interuterine distress for an unknown amount of time before he even saw the world for the first time as a result of me having Chorio. He had an abnormal ultrasound at birth. And as he grows, it has become apparent that the way that he learns is almost solely by tremendous amounts of repetition and, more recently, totally visually.

My little right-brained wonder.

ImageThis is tricky for a mother that is as insanely left-brained such as myself. As a child, I only had to hear things once to absorb it. I could read a book and have the subject matter down without much ado.

Now Jp, on the other hand, learns by seeing. Not by doing, not by hearing, not by any of the ways that my analytic brain can come up with on it’s own. In truth, I do not even have any semblance of an imagination whatsoever. Watching me sitting down for imaginative play is like witnessing a prehistoric caveman attempting to bang rocks together to make a fire.

I suck at it.

I really, truly just cannot seem to do it. It is like my overly complex brain just cannot compute the simple act of “make believe”.

Here is a sad example of play therapy with momma:

Jp: *holds up Captain Hook toy* Hey you!

Me: *holding up another pirate* I am a Pirate. Arrrrrr.

Jp: Hey you.

Me: I like to do pirate things…um…like pillage and sail….um….

Jp: *smacks his toy into mine* Cwash!

Me: Ouch, you hurt me.

ImageI am going to save you the rest of this painful scenario. It is embarrassing. I was literally playing with Jp the other day and my husband looked up and said, “Wow, you are terrible at this.”

Thanks, Captain Obvious. All of us cannot be creative geniuses like you. Who would do our taxes, right?

So, I cheat. Whoa! Take it back a step there! Not on my husband! Or my taxes (I see you, big brother), for that matter. I cheat and let him watch Disney Junior. I know there are a million parents that think that TV is the parenting “devil” but I think it is magical.

Now, I could see that if your child learned everything from all different methods of teaching or if you were a creative powerhouse that could knock out an Emmy worthy puppet show but neither of those things is true in my world. No matter how much I (painfully) try.

But I can sit down and watch some Disney Junior with him and watch him picking up information at a rapid rate. It is bizarre. He is singing songs, learning phrases, understanding abstract concepts that I would have no idea how to explain, showing me things in the house and identifying them without me having to say it 5,676,868,686,868 times. Between that and the ABC Mouse programs on the computer…it is visual preschool for the creativity impaired.

moms of the worldJudge me if you will but it actually works. And, after three years of making flashcards that he throws around, playing songs that he hates and yells through, and trying to do craft projects that he could literally care less about so that I felt like a good mom, I have finally just had to “mom up” and admit that I cannot teach him in a way that he understands like the magicians of integrating visually stimulating images with language and learning tools at Disney Junior can.

Sometimes being a parent means that you have to know your failings and find something that works for you but, more importantly, for your child.

Do not ever let your feelings about yourself -or your own insecurities about motherhood- color your decisions in parenting. Trying to be the mom you think you should be does not do anyone any favors.

Especially your kids. Embrace what they need…not what makes you feel good about yourself. That, to me, is being a good mom.

Photo Credit:




Parenting and Childhood Development


Amber Perea View All →

I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.

11 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I, too, feel way too repressed to play well with Stella. If only I could drink wine while playing, we’d probably have more fun.
    But seriously, who cares about Disney Jr?! You get serious props for simply trying as hard as you do to work with what’s best for your kid!!

    • If I had a nickle for every time that I heard, “Well, I NEVER let my child watch TV…”, I’d be rich.

      I want to respond with, “Well, if I had a nickle for every mom that doesn’t understand developmental delays…”

      Lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. So true. I am reading about the five love languages right now, and there is a lot there that applies to children. In fact, he has now written a book the five love languages of children. One thing that was interesting to me is that a parent may show love in the way they think is the best way, but the child might think they are never getting loved if the parent is not in tune with what the CHILD’S love language is. I’ve been thinking about my own kids, and even so young can almost instantly tell what their love language is. They are both VERY different than mine. So, I think you are right on that we need to realize these are human beings that we are raising and they are all unique. And, even though they may look like us, doesn’t mean they ARE us. Being in tune with what your child needs will make him a happier child in the long run, and he will feel like Mom loved him!! I can tell you do.

    • I cannot believe that you, of all people, haven’t read that book before. I am equal parts words of affirmation and gifts.

      Shallow and vain…that’s me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I cannot wait until Jp is of an age that I can find out what his is. I hope it’s presents…I’m great at that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • I scored an 11 out of 12 on affirmation. No wonder I love comments on my blog so much! I’ve skimmed it a few times, but thought I would finally commit. Mostly to find out what the heck my husband is. He’s claiming three of them, but I’ve already told him nobody has time for THAT!

      • Chris is the (I can’t remember the exact term) one that believes that love is doing things without asking. Which rocks because I do everything. ๐Ÿ™‚

        He believes in “show me” love which works great for me and he’s never been stingy with the way to go’s and he’s awesome with the gift issue. His presents are unprovoked and EXTREMELY thoughtful. We work is such cosmic ways. On the jungian humanetrics meter we are almost as compatible as can be. You should have you and your husband take THAT.

        But I am a die hard jungian… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Chiming in as the childless person here and speaking for myself….I have had this ongoing obsession for months in wanting to learn how to use the trillion buttons on my camera to take better pictures. I pride myself on being pretty smart and I have just freaked over not getting the hang of it. I have read every cheat sheet, Youtube, had a dozen friends sit me down and explain it, but I have learned today that repetitive use all day every day until I get it is the only way I’m going to learn. As I was cussing the bee I wa trying for the umpteenth time to photo, I said to myself that I would learn faster if the tutorial was set to a good puppet show. That’s my speed. We all have different ways that we learn. Learn we do, we just find what works and doesn’t.

    • I love your speed. I’m getting better at it. Sometimes, it’s hard to step outside of yourself in parenting but it’s awesome to hear how the difference manifests into adulthood.

      I bet your way is better in the long run. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s really “in there” like that. I am always forgetting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Try to find ABC’s Play School for him! (YouTube, DVD, ABC iView). Its the one show I feel absolutely no mummy guilt letting Monkey watch.

    Also, props to you for giving your child what he needs, even if that is TV.

    • I can’t wait to check into it! It’s weird but true. I have NEVER heard him use a word I didn’t hammer in until he started watching all these shows. It is so cute to hear him say something I didn’t teach him! Totally worth it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. The preschool shows are good but once they graduate to regular disney and nick, the shows are terrible. I just downgraded to basic basic cable bc I found the content way too much mature for my 7 year old. Its too bad bc I loved the playhouse disney jr programs.
    Another “evil’ that I love is the Wii. We’ve got the Mario and Lego games. Its helped my son socially bc all the other boys are playing video games so now they have a common interest. My son could have a conversation for a hour just talking about every aspect of the game.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: