2017 Feb 22
Parenting with Joanne
So much of effective parenting lies in the ability to identify and affect the details in your child’s areas of development. I am a strong believer of a child’s every interaction of the world being a possibility for great learning and independence . As is custom in most Asian cultures, we tend to sometimes pay little or no attention to making these life changing experiences possible for our children. And in doing so, sadly and most often handicap them for life in general.
Let’s look at a few ways that we can, on a daily basis, contribute to our child’s experience of the world
Make food easily accessible
With a little effort, every setting in a house can be altered to encourage independence in a child. For example, using the bottom most shelf of your refrigerator to store healthy snacks that are easily accessible, will not only make your toddler independent, but, also accustomed to having a healthy diet every once in awhile. Having the water dispenser at a reachable height, having a table laid out with his favorite cereals, some milk and fruits along with a plate and a cup are some other ways that his eating experience can be made actually child friendly.
Before a child is able to look at a clock and identify the time, he should be aware of night and day, days of the week, months of the year. Ensuring that at least one calendar in the home is at your child’s eye level, is one way that you could encourage him to be aware of the passage of time. In addition, a few minutes a day spent looking at the present day of the week, along with reference to yesterday and tomorrow will help your child master vocabulary and the understanding of time.
Arrangement of toys
If space is not an actual concern in a home, I would say go ahead and use as much space as you can to organize a play area with toys and other material arranged in an organized and attractive manner for your child as opposed to having them all stuffed into a ‘toy box’. Getting your toddler involved in this process of arranging is better still, as he would be then, more likely to take care of that space independently. Play is work for your growing child. Never, therefore, underestimate the power of it in your child’s development.
- Dressing up himself
Even if your toddler hasn’t yet acquired the motor coordination required to dress himself up, you can still contribute to this experience by having his clothes laid out on a lower shelf of a cupboard. Being able to open a cupboard and choose what he wants to wear on a particular day can be a truly liberating and confidence building experience your young child.
The ‘washroom experience’
Bathing and passing urine or stools can, yet again be made conducive to encourage maximum independence. Having your toddler’s bathing shampoo and soap reachable and in easily usable containers with water filled in a bucket and his towel laid out, again at reachable distance, will make bath times less of a struggle and more fun for your toddler. Having a firm stool placed right next to the toilet, would encourage independent use of the toilet, not to mention relieve you of the regular coaxing to use the toilet in the first place.
There are, of course, many more ways that your home can be made ‘child friendly’ in the real sense of the word. Look for the details and don’t be afraid to make some changes today.