While there are parents who are fully engaged with their infants and/or toddlers, talking, communicating, and teaching them, there are others who are not as engaged. They do not interact with their children ;like they should. Some even use the television as a teacher, rather babysitter. Yet the latter type of parents wonder why their children do not develop and/or learn appropriate to their particular level. A subset of them believe that they are too tired to devote the necessary time to communicate with their infants and/or toddlers. They refuse to believe that they as parents are the first and main sources of education for their children. Let's discuss this.
Can we all be a fighter pilot, with the reflexes of a cat? How about a pro wrestler, with the muscles to pick up 300 pounds? A gymnast, able to twist the body into unreal postures while maintaining perfect control? No?
Then why would you think everyone will or can make a good parent? I assure you, as a parent myself, it is not easy. It is the most difficult task I ever set myself and no one I know as ever done it perfectly or even very close.
I fully agree with gmwilliams that for global development of a child the involvement of parent is important, but equally important is the environmental stimulation that a parent should provide. Ten thousand years ago, our ancestors in caves did not have television, baby sitters or strollers. Our fore fathers in caves grew up by exploring and interacting with environment. Now a baby is glued to cradle when a newborn, strapped in a baby carrier as an infant, to a stroller as a toddler. I believe environment is the place where a child learns first from, and parents have a major role in mediating that learning. While it is important that parents need to spend time with their children, it is equally important that they provide adequate environmental exposure and stimulation.
The Secret of Childhood and The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori are two books which every parent must read. We must become conscious of how nature forms the child from within. She clearly explains the importance of the child learning within his environment. Parents must create an environment which is sensorially and physically stimulating; one which facilitates the growth/development of the many abilities the child must have in order to survive.
He will lean screen technology in due time. Keep them off of it until they are six. The spiritual embryo is forming. This means the psyche is forming. The first embryonic stage is in the womb when the body forms. The second embryonic stage is in the early environment when the mind, brain and psyche is forming. As a woman doctor and scientist who also loved children, Montessori explains all this. Children learn from their parents and watch them very closely. Parents must be there for their children. But parents can do their work, as well. The child will explore the environment which the parents create for them. Furthermore, they learn by watching their parents work.
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