May 29, 2014 – View on infants and toddlers: I wish the world would see infants and toddlers as problem solvers, capable, negotiators and initiators of their own learning, just to name a few. But most of all to show them respect! These little ones don’t need us to teach them, they need us to support them in discovering the world in the ways they know best!
May 30, 2014 – Waiting to jump in: I’ve been thinking a lot about when we decide to jump in to help a child. There’s a fine line between a child being upset and then too upset so we must support them before they reach the point of no return. Jumping in too early can rob a child of a valuable learning experience. So what do we do?! Magda Gerber says “we must wait and wait and wait. “until the child truly tells us they need our help. By waiting “we demonstrate our trust in their competence and allow them to enjoy mastery of their own actions” from Dear parent: Careing for infants with respect
June 3, 2014 – Play objects: Today we talked about materials. It was a great refresher about the importance of supporting active children and having passive toys. Magda Gerber says “the simpler the toy, the more a child must use her imagination and resources to play with it.” (Your self-confident baby) With items like baskets, plastic containers or cloth napkins the child can play with it in many many ways and is the one actively creating the play. Noisy, flashy, light up toys that can only be played with in one way encourage children to be passive in play because the toy is doing the work. So what should be leading the play? The child or the toy?
June 12, 2014 – Real choices: I’m thinking about the choices that we give children and when we give them. Providing children, especially toddlers, with real choices help them to feel in control of the things happening around them. But when we offer a choice we have to make sure that we are willing to go through with what the toddler chooses. Asking “do you want your diaper changed” could be answered with a no but asking “would you like to walk to the changing table or would you like me to carry you” allows the toddler to make a choice and the job gets done! Something I’m working really hard on is not providing false choices like “it’s time to take a nap. Okay?” This can be really confusing to toddlers because they might not have a choice. Instead saying ” it’s time for a nap would you like your blue blanket or green one?” Lets the toddler know what’s going to happen and still gives them a choice. “Giving our children chances to have real choices about what they do and what happens to them helps them grow in self-esteem and confidence. ” from 1,2,3 the toddler years
June 21, 2014 – “Sharing”: Asking a toddler to share is a REALLY big ask. “The real meaning of sharing- giving of oneself – comes from inside. Toddlers are naturally self centered.” ( 1 2 3 the toddler years) So why do we feel like we have to ask a toddler to share when it probably doesn’t feel good for them? “Toddlers do not learn to share by having grownups make them do it. Having to give up a toy makes a toddler angry,not loving” ( 1 2 3 the toddler years) so what should we do? We model sharing for the toddlers in our lives. Saying things like “I’m eating this snack but I will share some with you” and noting the times when they do share “you shared a hug with your friend, that must have felt good” it’s important for children to understand sharing and to share but we want them to be self motivated to do it. Having someone force sharing could create a negative feeling around it which is so disappointing because sharing should feel good!
June 23, 2014 – Supporting Conflicts: I’ve been thinking about how I support toddlers through the struggles of toy taking and other conflicts. A few things that are very important to me are: 1: safety 2: providing the minimal amount of support and 3: not making choices for the child. From Respecting Babies I’ve learned to let go of ownership/who had it first. At this stage in life ” the emotions are much more important to mediate than the facts.” (Ruth Anne Hammond) one thing that has been really helpful is what Magda Gerber calls sportscasting, where you state exactly what you see. “This helps calm the children by letting them know that you understand and empathize with their situation” (Dear parents :Caring for infants with respect) I’ve also realized the importance of not solving the conflict for the children. This deprives the children of solving the problem themselves and also could give the idea that adults are there to fix everything. “My goal here is not to stop the conflict, but just to see that is does not result in anyone getting hurt” ( Ruth Anne Hammond). Most often than not the children will solve the conflict on their own, we just have to give them the time and space to do so.