How to Help Your Baby's Brain Develop
When my son was an infant, I developed a little ritual with him that helped me to get things done around the house while also keeping him entertained. The ritual was to put him in his umbrella stroller (a popular item at the time), and move him around with me from room to room as I did housework. I chattered to him all the while as I worked. The chatter was mostly grownup talk.
I've had several parents asking this week if they really have to take their toddlers' pacifiers away because it has been recommended that it is time to do so. In both cases, the toddlers had terrible reactions. One child had a sleepless night and was inconsolable (which means the parents had a sleepless night too). The other said her child continued to be upset over days and seemed in such distress, that she finally gave it back.
Hero worship is a childhood development that begins to emerge toward the end of the preschool years and gets into full swing during middle childhood. The popularity of superheroes among elementary school children attests to this popular pastime. Even as adults we continue to have heroes, mentors, and role models that we aspire to or hold in somewhat elevated positions.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit a preschool to offer some training for the teachers. After the presentation, a smaller group of us moved to the playground where we continued a more informal discussion. At the time, the playground was full of youngsters for the afternoon break. All of the sudden a young boy yelled from a few yards away, "Hey, watch this!" He was jumping off the monkey bars and pretending he could fly through the air. He was obviously quite pleased with himself, and wanted to make sure we agreed with his assessment. A moment later, a little girl who was watching the boy waved her arms at us and said "Watch, I can do a somersault," which she proceeded to do. In no time at all, a number of children could be heard saying "Watch this" or "Look at me" or "I can do that!"
The "terrible twos" conjures up a picture of a raging toddler pitching a very loud tantrum in the seat of a shopping cart in the grocery store while her very distraught mother (or father) frantically tries to soothe or distract him (maybe shoving cookies in his mouth) as others look on disapprovingly with looks that say "Can't you control your child?" If you've been a parent of a young child, you have probably experienced something along these lines at some time or another when your child was in her second or third year.