Determination, persistence, drive, perseverance and the attitude that the tough get going when the going gets tough. These are hallmark characteristics of….every BABY!
Babies are inherently instilled with a can-do spirit and a never-say-die attitude! Think about it. I’m sure you witness it all the time! As they work to roll over for the first time; start crawling; pull to a stand. When they hold onto furniture and cruise around; and then take that first, tentative step away without support!
The items I listed above were just the stuff that’re easily visible. Babies are also continually working on growing and learning in other, unseen ways too. Long before the eagerly anticipated first word, babies are mastering their communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, as well as getting a handle on self-help skills, like self-soothing to go back to sleep.
All parents want their kiddos to try hard enough to accomplish something they know they’re perfectly capable of without giving in or giving up easily. How can we help them tap into their inner baby’s drive?
By insuring they have enough PLAY!
The four early childhood developmental domains:
——— —–Social and
——————- —Cognitive are all addressed by PLAY.
• is the natural and organic way children learn about themselves, others and their world around them
• gives kidlets chances, in a safe and inconsequential way, to take the initiative, test, experiment, reason, and interact socially
Give them the freedom, space and uninterrupted time to PLAY; follow their curiosity; to foster their independence; to learn and grow.
This type of PLAY develops longer attention spans as opposed to what’s happening with an early and excessive exposure to screen time play. If you need more convincing that hands-on, not thumbs-on, PLAY is the way read Making the Case for PLAY.
PLAY facilitates holistic, inquiry-based learning. The article, To really learn fail—and then fail again! is geared towards older children, but the roots of its message is applicable to all ages. Children learn better, and more, when teachers, or parents, guide from the side.
PLAY allows children to be the decision-makers; to direct the “who, what, where, how, if and when.” This is invaluable experience! It also lays the foundation for their future work where self-direction and the ability to be aware of and correct any mistakes or oversights are mandatory.
PLAY gives children the freedom to RISK! AND for growth to occur in any area, one must be willing to RISK. THIS is what I think is at the heart of why some fearless babies grow into timid children and settle-for adults. Somewhere along the line, a child was made to feel they did something wrong; they are less than; or they let someone down and they decided not to let that happen again. In making that decision, consciously or not, the decision stunts their potential.
I’m sure you’re like all parents I’ve ever come across. You want your children to be all they can be and to fulfill their potential. Keep giving your kidlet ample, hands-on PLAY-time with a variety of real materials and in a plethora of social situations.
In addition, there are other TACTICS parents can adopt to instill The Little Engine That Could outlook on LIFE:
●MODEL the can-do kind of attitude you want to develop! Children naturally imitate and their family life can serve as inspiration.
● BE positive, offer encouragement, supply words to help your child establish connections and/or reach understanding.
● DELEGATE decision-making—give your kiddo the opportunity to choose in many different situations.
● BELIEVE in them!
Yours in Play!