Mar 7, 2014  •  In Claire, Parenting, Personal

Mega-Update on the Girls, Part 2: Claire

Claire has been thriving at her Montessori preschool.

I recently went in for the mid-year parent-teacher conference, and her teacher couldn’t say enough positive things about her. For example, although Claire is one of the youngest kids in the class, she’s always one of the first to understand and complete new assignments and activities. Not only that, she is a leader in the classroom — I’m told that other kids look to her for cues and guidance.

This isn’t always a good thing, however, because when she becomes disruptive, all the other kids tend to follow too!  😉

I was AMAZED to observe Claire already identifying continents.

Claire has been able to read short, simple words for a few months now, but last month (at 3 years and 4 months of age) she demonstrated to me that she has started writing too. The first word she wrote for me was “DAD” — “Look, umma! D-A-D spells dad!”


This isn’t to say that her Korean and Cantonese are lagging behind — she continues to stay comfortable with all 3 languages and seamlessly switches back and forth between each one. J told me that she has started to speak Cantonese with a Hong Kong accent (where he’s from), and we recently observed her speaking Korean in the Gyeongsang dialect too. (I was born in Daegu, which is part of the Gyeongsang region. I purposely try to speak Korean in the official, Seoul dialect to my kids, but I think Claire picked up my Gyeongsang dialect from listening to me speak to my parents. 😳 )

While Claire’s preschool has been tremendously helpful in helping her along academically, I think that the biggest change that this first year of school has brought forth has been her personality. She has really come out of her shell since starting school, and has become a confident, outgoing young lady.

If anything, she has become a bit bossy from her “leadership duties” at school, but her teacher told me that they’re working on cultivating that trait to one where she can help and teach the younger kids. 🙂  And I am starting to see that in her dealings with Aerin — she tries harder to be patient, and guide her little sister in learning.


She remains quite stubborn, but has matured enough to know when she has done something wrong. We have never given her time-outs, so we were quite amused when, starting this year, she started to give herself time-outs by retreating to the little corner by our front door. Not as a punishment, per se, but to separate herself from other people and stimuli, and to give herself a chance to calm down and (hopefully) think about what has just happened. She will run to her corner every time she gets upset, after she throws a tantrum, or she realizes that she has upset someone else.

Another recent development is her attachment to her father. She entered a “daddy is best” phase a couple of months ago, and he has replaced me as her favorite person. And because she, like most 3-year-olds, tends to make everything so dramatic, I have conversations like the following every day:

Claire:  {big sigh}

Me:  다정이 왜? (What’s wrong?)

Claire:  다정이 슬퍼. 너무 슬퍼. (Claire is sad. So sad.) {sigh}

Me:  다정이 왜 슬퍼? (Why are you sad?)

Claire:  아빠 일하러 가서 슬퍼. 아빠 보고싶어. 엄마 아빠 전화해줄래? (Because daddy went to work. I miss daddy. Can you call him for me?)

Sometimes, when she’s flat-out refusing to listen to me, I have to call J at work so that he can talk to her for me.  🙄  My mother tells me that I was the same way too, starting at around Claire’s age. She says this is typical of kids (especially girls who have younger siblings), and that it usually lasts until they hit puberty.

To be continued… 

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4 Responses to “Mega-Update on the Girls, Part 2: Claire”

  1. Holley says:

    I love these update, Jenny! Claire is becoming such a big girl and so smart! I think it’s incredible that you guys are teaching her 3 languages. That’s so interesting how she picked up your dialect just from listening to conversations. Kids are amazing!

  2. Claire is growing up so fast. Amazing. She’s definitely a natural born leader from the sounds of things in school. 🙂

  3. Kaycey says:

    Amazing progress. I’m such a fan of when parents bring up their children learning the languages that they know. The child can benefit from it in so much ways. Your daughters are so cute. I am a recent subscriber and I love your updates!

  4. Mmorgan says:

    This post reminds me of something I read recently on labeling girls and sounds like Claire is coming into her own. Anyway, worth a look especially for strong girls especially the idea that assertive boys are deemed leaders but assertive girls are usually branded bossy.

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