It’s all about Lego

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My own emotional attachment to Lego is getting a little bit out of hand. I spent a ridiculously long time working out how to create a custom designed Lego table and get endless pleasure out of sorting all the little pieces into their appropriate sections.

Of course, I can’t actually build the stuff now that Jonah has progressed to the serious box sets but I’ve loved watching his complete and utter commitment to those little blocks.

Lego is the first thing that comes out in the morning and the last thing at night. He brings it into the bath before we read some sort of Lego related bedtime book and he’s even got his own blog, Legocation.

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Maybe because in this crazy world, Lego is the one constant for Jonah. No matter where he is or what situation he is in, he can count on Lego to be the same and I guess there’s a huge amount of satisfaction when completing a box.

It’s funny because I’ve spoken to a few mums of little boys who say that in school their boys can’t sit still or focus but will literally spend hours pouring over the instructions to create some fabulous Lego set. What is it about Lego that can hold their focus for so long and how do we harness that?

I mean if any of you have actually looked in a typical Lego instruction leaflet, you will see that it requires a huge amount of concentration, certainly beyond the limits that I have. But Jonah has very little problems finding the correct pieces and fitting it all together. Sometimes he asks me for help and I offer a piece that I think will work only to have him look at me with pure horror when it’s a slightly different colour or has an extra bit sticking out.

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And it’s not just through the building of it, Lego is the start of so many imaginative roleplaying games that they can do alone or with friends. It’s a chance for them to express themselves and their emotions because if you actually listen to their dialogue, it is often full of experiences that they may have had themselves that day.

Jonah and I used to play a game called Star of the Day, based on the real Star of the Day at school. We would come up with a reason why each Lego figure wasn’t the Star before knocking them flying and then give a huge whoop for the one who was. Rather than drilling him in appropriate behaviour at school, this was a fun way of him hearing the same message without feeling like he was just being talked at.

Jonah also loves to draw Lego. For many boys, picking up a pen and paper comes slightly later so anything that encourages them to do this has got to be a good thing.

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But really what I love about Lego is how much Jonah loves it. From the original Duplo Lego through to Lego City, Ninjago, Chima, Star Wars and now the ultimate, Lego Minecraft, Lego talks to him like no other toy can. If Jonah can just maintain this passion and commitment and apply it to other areas of his life, then he will be successful in whatever he chooses to do.

I on the other hand will probably spend the next 20 years finding the stuff in places throughout my house, furniture and clothes and often stuffed in the ends of my shoes.

Love or hate?

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Ok, so why this blog and why The Marmite Kid?

This is for my 5 year old son Jonah and also for his older sister Evie who may one day look back and understand why mum and dad were a bit cranky some days.

Jonah is affectionate, creative, sensitive, dynamic, energetic, bright and good fun. He is also a challenging little boy at times. He can be pushy, aggressive, quick tempered and not always focused, apart from with anything Lego related.

That first lovely year of starting reception has been without doubt one of our family’s most challenging times. But it has forced me and my husband Gordon to really look at ourselves and make us if not better people, at least people who are willing to learn and develop.

But it has also been an incredible eye opener and led me down some very interesting paths, questioning our education system and why some of the brightest kids simply can’t fit within it.

It has also been incredibly funny, in a ‘if I don’t laugh I will cry’ sort of way and perhaps this blog can help other families with their very own Marmite Kid.

Originally this was just going to be a blog about my son and family but the more I spoke to people the more I realized that there are lots of Marmite Kids out there, you know, you either love it or hate it.

When you have a difficult child, quite frankly it is easier to pry into other people’s lives as you are in no position to judge so others tend to open up to you.

Children, behaviour, education systems and parenting are without doubt hot topics of conversation. This is just my take on what it is like to parent a child that just won’t sit on that naughty step no matter what Super Nanny may say.