Saturday, June 02, 2007

Following Your Kid's Lead

So much of our parenting is based on the idea that it's much easier if we take our cues from our kids. It's never failed us before.

Take sleeping habits, for instance. We start bedtime at eight o'clock. They never fight bedtime, we get into our jammies, read a bunch of stories, brush our teeth, hug and kiss the kids goodnight, and leave the room. They fall asleep on their own and only need a little reassuring every now and then. They're 3 and 1, and we never forced them into any of it, never left them alone to cry, nothing.

When Colwyn was a little baby, he started fussing and resisting when I would try to rock him for naps. I thought I'd give him a break and put him down in his crib so I could get a drink. He was quiet, and when I came back, he was sound asleep. We moved smoothly into putting him down awake from there, always gentle with him, and he never had to scream for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes or more. When he was sick and needed more soothing, we allowed it because we trusted that he knew what he needed.

The same thing worked for Lachlann, although it took a little longer. In fact, I had actually begun to doubt my theory when he decided he was capable of falling asleep on his own. Ah ha, validation.

This method of following their lead has worked in virtually every other area of parenting. If we wait until they are ready for something, it goes much more smoothly than if we tried to force it. So why wouldn't I apply that to my children's education?

I have faith that when my children see a need to know something, they'll learn it. And because they're motivated by their own needs and desires, they'll learn it that much quicker. I see it happening now. Colwyn picks up things that he finds interesting and we learn about until he's no longer interested. Without me pushing him, he's learned his alphabet and is starting to show interest in recognizing some numbers. Despite what his speech therapist advised, I never forced him to hold his pencil (or crayon) the proper way, and as he desires more precision, he's adjusted his grip to the proper way, all on his own.



At 3:11 PM, Blogger Jen said...

totally agree.
I try to introduce and bring up a lot of things throughout the day. If they are interested I add it to our (very loose) lesson plan and run with it. Like chinese... I keep bringing it up but so far (much to my dismay) no interest. Bugs.. well that we can talk about all day!
I do try to keep a loose schedule b/c Marcus likes his schedule. But its very loose. Corinne seems to hit all of her development points on time.. marcus seems to lag behind.


Post a Comment

<< Home