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Discover the secret of childhood from 0-3 year old:

Posts Tagged ‘gross motor skills’

Collaborating With Your Child

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 12:44 pm | By Stephanie Woo

Daddy Helps Brooke

Most adults just want to do things FOR the child. Why? It’s so much easier than teaching them to do it.

Let’s take cleaning up after meals for instance. You have two choices, you can clean the table for them, that takes about 30 seconds. OR you can have them do it. Then you have to figure out where to put the dirty dishes, how they will wipe the table, where to put the sponge, how they will clean their hands. And then once you’ve got the logistics down, you have to show them how to do it and then enforce it over and over and over and over and over…

One is clearly easier than the other. But one will make you feel like it’s Groundhog’s Day and you are playing the role of the slave, while the other gives your child the opportunity to practice motor skills, develop attention to detail, learn sequencing and give him a sense of independence that lead to happy, secure, confident children.

So you pick.

For those of you courageous and conscientious enough to take the second route, I have a piece of advice. When you are teaching your child to clean up after meals (this really applies to everything, but I’m just using this as an example), collaborate with them. Young children cannot do it all on their own all at once. They will be able to eventually, but it can be overwhelming at this age. So I’ll say, “Let’s clean up together. I’ll put the bowl and the plate  in the dishcart and you put the spoon in the dishcart.” OR “Let’s clean up together. You put this bowl (I’ll pick it up from the table) in the dishcart.” Then I’ll hand them the plate for them to put in the dishcart, the spoon, etc.  As long as they are doing something toward cleaning, that is what you’re looking for. Even if at the end, you feel you did most of the cleaning, if they participated, then you are on the right path. Gradually, over time, you can pull back and they can do more. There will be regression on bad days. If they are tired or cranky, don’t force it. Don’t punish them for not cleaning. Instead, use these words often, “Let’s do it together!” Even if you end up doing most of it that day, let it go. Tomorrow, when they are in a better place, they will do more of it.

I have a lot empathy for little ones. Transitioning from a baby in mama’s arms where everything is done to becoming your own little person – it’s a big transition. If you’re willing to collaborate with them, it’ll make their life –and yours – a little easier.

We Made It Through Hurricane Sandy

Friday, November 2nd, 2012 10:46 am | By Stephanie Woo

We were hit by Hurricane Sandy. We didn’t lose power or anything but school closed for three days. We were inside all day Monday. On Tuesday, the winds had died down somewhat but it was still pretty wet, windy and cold. That morning, I was cleaning in the kitchen when I looked over at the B and M – they had put on their jackets and shoes by themselves and were standing by the front door. Mackenzie was tugging on the door handle as hard as she can and whining. They were dying to get out.

So we did.

Actually, I love exposing the children to all sorts of weather. We go for walks twice a day – sun, rain or snow. It’s great for them to exercise their little bodies (studies show active children do better in school), breathe some fresh air and take advantage of the myriad language opportunities! Hurricane weather meant lots of fallen leaves and branches, overcast skies, big puddles and water dripping down pipes on the side of house. The whole thing turned out to be a great learning opportunity.

Toddlers can be so hardy. They slipped a few times because it was definitely wet and slippery out. But they stood up and kept on going. I wish there were more kids outside experiencing the after-effects of a storm, but we were the only ones out and about that morning.

Happily, school opened on Thursday. Phew, we made it!

Do not put your baby in a standing position

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 8:42 am | By Stephanie Woo

Babies love to sit. They love to stand even more. Parents will put babies in those positions because they look adorable AND it seems to make the baby very happy.

Babies love to stand because they get to see the world from a completely different point of view. However, there are several reasons not to do this before they’re ready.

1. Babies who stand before they’re ready can be bow-legged. Putting them in the standing positions is also problematic for their developing spine. The same goes for sitting. When you put a baby in a sitting position, if they fall forwards or backwards, it means they are not ready to be sitting. Don’t let them stay in that position for long. Bumbo seats are designed to keep baby in sitting positions before they are ready, do not put your baby in one of those. It is detrimental to their development.

2. Holding your baby up to stand or putting them in contraptions that keep them in those positions, like the walkers, are very bad for your baby. Children who are put in those contraptions tend to move on to the next movement milestone (sitting, crawling, pulling up, walking) LATER because they don’t have the motivation to learn to do those things on their own. Even more importantly, they don’t develop the proper cause and effect, “When I do this, I get to see this.” Instead, they don’t need to do anything and they get to see the world from the point of a view of someone sitting or standing. It skews their understanding of their body and movement – which is something they spend so much time exploring and learning the first couple years of life.

So help them develop the proper cause and effect of movement.  Be patient with them. Allow them to reach the stage where they can pull up to stand on their own. The joy and confidence they develop when they can finally do it by themselves is a priceless gift you can give them.