Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Freedom, I have recently come to realize, is very important to a child's developement. I'm not talking about freedom for a two-year-old to wander the neighborhood unsupervised, or freedom for an eight-year-old to eat as many cookies as he wants. But age-appropriate freedom in a controlled, fairly safe environment is really priceless. Of course we have all seen the damage done by parents who never supervise their children, but just as damaging can be well-meaning parents who constantly hover over their children, watching and commenting on the child's every action. How can a child learn self-confidence and good decision making skills if they are never allowed to make those desicions by themselves? Sure, they will encounter tough situations and probably take part in a good deal of fairly dangerous play (climbing high trees, oh my!), but if they are never allowed these opportunities then how will they learn to think for themselves? To make too many free-play opportunities off-limits is to tell the child that they cannot be trusted to make good decisions. To supervise their every move is to teach them to be dependent upon the attention of others. To correct every minor mistake prevents the child from learning from their own errors, and more importantly, constant corrections send the message that the child is inherently bad. Again, I am not talking about shirking our parental responsibilities, or denying them our assistance when it is needed. Rather, I am talking about refraining from assistance when it is NOT asked for, and trusting our children more. Our most important job as parents is to nurture a sense of compassion, self-worth, and independence in our beloved children. Obvoiusly they will need much guidance, but they will also need enough freedom to develop their individual souls in their own time and in their own way. My guess is that this sort of growth best occurs in an environment free of overbearing parents.
June Bug climbing a tree without shoes OR prying eyes! (except to come out and take the picture of course)
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
You know those cheap candy necklaces maade compeltely out of sugar and artificial colors? We made our own version with Cascadian Farms "Fruitful O's" cereal. Similar to Fruit Loops, but less sugar, naturally colored, and made with organic ingredients.
I threaded two darning needles (which are big and blunt) and gave each boy some cereal to work with. June Bug worked thoughtfully to arrange his colors.
Little Sprout ate most of his cereal, but made a concentrated effort to get a few onto the string. More than once he tried very hard to thread a piece, only to give up and eat it out of exhasperation. On the flipside, he once started to eat one, only to take it back out of his mouth, slobbery and sticky, and THEN thread it onto the string!
June Bug models his necklace which we will save for an outdoor adventure or park trip.
Little Sprout, who had lost interest in the project and so had his unfinished thread taken away, sees June Bug wearing his necklace and demands for his own back. (Demands = grunts and points) I give it back, and he promptly puts it around the back of his neck, needle still hanging off the end-- at least it wasn't sharp. He smiles proudly as he shrugs his shoulders to keep it in place.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The photos are from my friend's phone so bear with the blurriness! There's the fire truck spraying the hose and Little Sprout in the white hat
It's good simple fun. A fire truck comes and sprays water from it's hose into the air over a park's field. The water rains steadily down, pounding you in a slightly stinging sort of way. The water then pools up in many splash-happy puddles, some as deep as calf-level. So simple, yet so very, very fun. I was not ashamed to be one of only two parents to play right along with the kids (the other was my friend we came with)!
Little Sprout loves water in all forms. He asks for water to drink all day long (though he won't drink it from a sippy cup), we can't keep him from splashing and trying to stand in the dog water (or putting the dog's food in the water), and he absolutely LOVES to play in the wet stuff wether it be water tables, beaches, puddles, or rain. So needless to say, he LOVED 'Chill Out in the Park'. Who cares if the water pressure is a bit painful? Who cares if you're shivering? Who cares if Mama takes away the big dangerous stick? Well maybe he cared for a bit about the stick, but otherwise it was completely worth the absurd amount of fun that occured.
That night, Sprout was laying in bed, cuddling me (which was a first since he associates me laying down with nursing and refuses to lay down without it). He lay calm, occasionally changing position. His calm non-nursing behavior was very strange and I reveled in being able to cuddle him without having to be physically attached. Quiet. Calm. Dark. Sweet. Finally he said "Water... water". Half statement, half question, I was unsure if he was asking for a drink of water or. . . could he be recalling the events of the day? I suspected that the latter was the case, though I've never been sure if a very young child was capable of thinking about past events. Typically they live for the moment, thinking only of what is presently going on around them. Had he been resting there thinking about our day? I began to talk about the details of our adventure and the concentrated look on his sweet face made it obvious that he was thinking very hard.
In the darkness he finally said "hat, baby,"; both of which relate to our outing (he wore a hat and my friend had her young baby with her). My suspisions were correct, he WAS thinking about our trip! And from his extensive word list he was able to choose the few words that related to his experience. He was able to verbalize his thoughts! When did this ability to recollect begin? How old is a child before they stop living solely in the moment and are able to remember the past? All I know is that this ability represents a significant milestone in my little child's cognitive development.