Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Readiness & Modeling

It is amazing to watch children grow and change. They all do it at their own pace. Benchmarks are somewhat useful to know what to expect, but every child does it at his or her own pace. I suppose there are somethings that you can encourage or "train" your child about but from what I have seen there are just somethings that they can't do it, don't show interest, are unwilling to try....and then suddenly the interest is there and the ability follows...often very quickly.
I really think that the ages they put on toys are a bit misleading. There are toys that might be safe for younger children, but (at least so far with my boys) they were not able to really play with the toy for a long time. We have had a puzzle since we were about 1 year old, but the boys didn't show much interest in it (they mainly used the pieces...which had instruments). Then suddenly when I was unpacking toys at our new house I saw Doug play with one of those shape sorting toys. He was pretty accurate and did it by himself, whereas before he could only do it with a lot of coaching. He then proceeded to floor me at my sister's house because he did a puzzle with 100% accuracy and no hesitations.
I know, also, that playing with older children over the holidays has forever changed Doug & Andy's play patterns. I will be interested to see as we get back to our normal routines what they still do after their exposure to both their cousins and now children of family friends at Nana and Pop's house.

Jo, I think, is about 1 to 2 weeks ahead of where Andy was with physical development. Andy always was my "gross motor" boy. He crawled, walked, etc. almost a full month before Doug did. Well Jo doesn't always choose to crawl still, but she can, and she is definitely able to sit up from a tummy position. She has started pulling up to stand up. She's not cruising along yet, but I think it can't be far behind. She just wants to keep up with her older brothers.
I was actually grateful when I had twins right off the bat, that they didn't have older siblings to try and keep up with. I am reminded, however, how important it is to have that peer group or role model to motivate them to take the next step. I am also thankful that my children are still young enough that most of the time I can make it a peer group of my choice because I do want my children to be able to navigate their own way in this crazy world.

I am reminded that having children is like ripping your heart out of your body and letting it walk around. At least the process of giving them more freedom to roam is gradual...

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Molly flew on a plane as an unaccompanied minor this last week for the first time, from Salt Lake to Portland. Her mother has really been pushing for it since she turned five, and of course Charlie was opposed to it and then I was opposed to it too when I came into their lives. Some five year olds might be ready, but she definitely wasn't. She's been harping on it for every single visit, and she finally had Molly talked into it when she was there two visits ago. So we said, "wow, so you're going to fly by yourself, huh? What a big girl!" And she said, "no." Well, too late, her mother had already bought the ticket. We observed her on our trip up there in October, and thought that she would handle it just fine - if she wanted to handle it just fine. So we really talked it up, made it an adventure, told her everything that would happen, etc. By the time it was time to fly, she was actually pretty excited. And now that she has done it twice, once she got home that is, you can see that she's really proud of herself, and she's acting all mature. It's so cute! I think it was really good for her, but of course we never would have left her if she'd been crying or having a fit about it. However, she just suddenly was ready. Still, I didn't even have this child until a little while ago, and I understand the idea of ripping your heart out -- watching her walk up that jetway was a bit nerve-wracking!