Monday, September 9, 2013
It is funny that no matter how confident the woman is once she has a child, she will forever wonder and second guess every decision she makes. We all try not to, but you cannot help some of it. Some of it is the pure curiosity of human nature. I see moms all the time asking other moms, looking up things, talking to friends and family trying to get the best ideas on how to raise their children. What is the best way to feed my child? What is the best way to diaper my baby? What is the best way to stimulate my baby? What is the best way to feed my baby? What is the best way to jump start my baby's education? At what point does enthusiasm lead to pushing? Is your child really interested in that activity or do you have them do it because someone told you to or you read somewhere it was the best activity for your child to do?
I got knocked off my high horse the last couple of weeks with Xavier. I made the mistake of listening to different unsolicited advice. Being a stay at home mom in 2013 is a little odd in the fact that there are not many of us. So I cannot help but hear a lot of different nanny and day care stories from people. I made the mistake of wondering if perhaps Xavier was missing something by not being in the day care environment. Maybe he is not socialized well enough? Maybe I am not teaching him things like a teacher would if he were in a school? So I started researching different preschool techniques and things. Even though Xavier is only seventeen months I figured I would just start early to get into the routine.
I decided I would try to model our little mommy and Xavier preschool after the Montessori education method. The Montessori Education "is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori and characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits and respect for a child's natural psychological, physical and social development." (Wikipedia).
Pretty much at Xavier's age it is the birth to three age where they call it the "nest" age. His main objective is to be learning the home environment and have plenty of opportunities to develop movement and activities to develop independence. What I liked about the Montessori education or at least what drew me to it was the fact that many Montessori inspired activities promote self-sufficiency, appeal to the senses and prepare the finger muscles for holding a pencil for writing. Most importantly the activities are geared towards a young child's developmental interests.
So we did two Montessori activities over a few days. These Montessori activities are designed for 15-16 month olds. The first one we did was the "exploring how the pipe cleaners can be put in and out of the holes, twisted and tangled up" exercise. I had some in and out of the holes and twisted up and some laid out on the floor to use. I put away all of Xavier's other toys and just put the colander and pipe cleaners out. It is supposed to be child led so they are supposed to start and stop. Well, Xavier looked at it turned the colander over and put all the loose pipe cleaners in it and handed it to me and went over to his books. SIGH! So I got on the floor with him and tried to show him how neat it was that the pipe cleaners can go in and out of the holes and twist around and such. He sat there and patiently watched me, then, left and went to the toy box to get a toy. Needless to say that was the last of "exploring how the pipe cleaners can be put in and out of the holes, twisted and tangled up" exercise that we will be doing. I did save the pipe cleaners though as they will make fun crafts to do.
A couple days later I decided to try this Montessori thing again and I did an exercise called " making a game out of stuffing pom poms through the wipe container hole as fast as you can". So I set everything up the same again and put out the wipe container box with some pom poms in it and some pom poms out of it. I let him take the lead again. Only this time I locked us in my bedroom where he had no other toy boxes or books to play with. In fact he is not supposed to touch much in our room so I thought this would force him to try the pom poms and wipe box exercise. He promptly picked up the pom poms off the floor put them in the wipe container, closed the container, put it on my bed and went to the door and pointed at the door knob. SIGH! Once again I get on the floor with him and try to show him how much fun it is to play with the pom poms and wipe container. Then, I suddenly realize it. Why am I doing this? My son has perfectly fun toys that he and I love playing with that he does something new with everyday. Why should he not play with them as much as possible? How does denoting him down to pom poms and pipe cleaners supposed to help make him smarter? If anything my son is more prepared for our world because he has many technological toys that he can work and hopefully he will thrive in a world that is constantly changing especially technologically.
I think the best way to thrive in a world full of technology and perhaps too much information is to remember to always tune in and listen to your instincts. I know what I do with my son is perfect for him and I and our family. It works great. We do not have any problems or battles. I do not know what the future holds, but if what I do today is correct I am sure what I do tomorrow will be as well because I am going to always remember to listen to my instincts especially my mothering instincts for they are always the strongest in women. We know our children. No one knows them better then us. We know what is best for them. I knew all along that I am doing a great job with Xavier all on my "Renee and Nick" method. Xavier is happy, healthy, smart and sociable. I should have never listened or sought out other advice then, to listen to what is already in my instincts. It would have some us from having a lot less pom pom and pipe cleaners. So listen to your instincts and give yourself a pat on the back for being a phenomenal mother.
*Stay tuned for more crafts with pipe cleaners and pom poms* :)
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