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The boys love building with Lego. They can both spend hours creating models, the most popular being cars.
One morning recently my husband suggested that they each go and build a model based on a design brief that he would give them.
The design brief included the following:
It was to be a car
It was to have six wheels
It was to seat one Lego man
Off they went…
Some time later they returned with their models:
The 5yo had very precisely stuck to the brief. His car had six wheels and a perfect seating space for one Lego man. The 5yo, while very imaginative when given free reign, is very precise. He follows instructions, he understands how to build things. He is helpful and does building projects with his dad. He is an Engineer in the making.
The 7yo produced a car with ten wheels, no obvious place for a Lego man to sit and many superfluous, although very interesting, additions to the brief. The 7yo is imaginative and creative. He does not follow instructions! He has a tendency to interpret, rather than follow directions. He rarely helps his dad with building projects. He is a Client in the making!
My husband and I loved these models. They so completely reflect the different personalities of our boys.
It always surprises me how different our children are (all three of them!). They each have such unique characteristics, in fact in some ways they could not be more different.
The boys approach problems in different ways and find different solutions. They react very differently in a given situation, and as can be seen from the cars they built, they interpret instructions differently.
The 5yo sees them as, just that, instructions. The 7yo sees them as mere guidelines…
As parents, you want your children to develop strong and confident personalities. You encourage creativity and imagination. You hope to instil an ability to follow instructions, when required, but also hope that they grow up to be their own person.
Moments like this show me that the boys are developing strong and independent characters; and it’s wonderful to watch. And, on this occasion, quite amusing too :)