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-   -   "actively teach" your toddler or just play and let them "learn naturally"? (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1443336)

myoo 09-14-2012 10:58 AM

"actively teach" your toddler or just play and let them "learn naturally"?
 
My son is about to turn 18 months, and I sometimes worry that he can't do as much as other kids his age that I hear about - like knowing a bunch of animal sounds, identifying colors, pointing to lots of different body parts, speaking many words and saying 2-word phrases. I work part-time so am home with him 4-5 days out of every 7. DH thinks I'm not "working with him" enough. My approach has always been to let babies be babies, let him play and explore, and allow him to pick things up naturally. I talk to him all day long, he gets a ton of love and attention, we look at books together and he has finally started pointing to the pictures and I'll tell him the name of the animal, etc. He's a man of few words, but I've been counting on that explosion in talking that's supposed to happen between 12-24 months, so I haven't been too worried yet. But now I'm getting anxious and starting to feel like I should be intensively working with him on specific things.

So - do you/did you actually sit there every day and try to "teach" your young toddler specific things, or did you let them free play more and they just learned naturally over time through your everyday experiences?

ktmelody 09-14-2012 11:16 AM

I dont sit down and teach my littles anything. They learn from just daily living.

All of my kids except one have known how to read prior to kindergarten, all learned how to count to 20 by age 3 or so. All knew their main colors by 2. ABCs by 2 as well. It just happens naturally.

Done at 3 09-14-2012 11:22 AM

With my boys what I've noticed in their development was that my first who was a very physically active, dexterous, well coordinated child didn't speak very much, he knew enough it wasn't a concern, but he wasn't a "talker" until about right at two years old after he started a montessori school. We were very active in a playgroup at the time so he had always had a lot of interaction with other kids from 6 months old. He just developed quicker in a physical way. With DS2 he was a chatty kid from as long as I can remember, a very babbling baby and started speaking words, that soon became sentences soon after turning one. He is the most clumsy, uncoordinated kid :/ he falls CONSTANTLY.

I've seen similar patterns with my friends kids as well. Of course it all evens out before too long anyway, but I think kids just develop different strengths first.

happysmileylady 09-14-2012 11:27 AM

Re: "actively teach" your toddler or just play and let them "learn naturally"?
 
I believe it really just depends on the kid. At the same time, I believe that for the vast majority of children, they will, eventually, just pick up the basics at least in a very natural way.

My younger two are both late bloomers. My youngest in particular will likely be undergoing an evaluation at the end of the year unless we have some HUGE boom in development after this baby arrives (ie from NEEDING to grow up a bit and not be babied so much) And for both of them, I can see how much it does help to specifically work with them on some things.

But, the flip side of the question is, what does "TEACH" your child things actually mean. Like, for some parents it's "natural" to call their preschooler in the kitchen and have them help with cooking and talk about the measuring cups and such. For other parents, they have to deliberately think about it and specifically remember to talk about that kind of stuff. For the first one, that might be thought of as 'natural" learning, for the second, that might be deliberately teaching.

mibarra 09-14-2012 11:28 AM

Re: "actively teach" your toddler or just play and let them "learn naturally"?
 
No, I do a child centered approach. I don't specifically sit and say "Now we will learn body parts", I follow my childs lead and integrate it into daily living. As we're getting dressed, bathing, etc, we talk about body parts: put the shirt over your head, put in our arms, let's put the shoes on your feet, lets wash your face. We play games and sing songs that teach, like "head, shoulders, knees, and toes", "one, two, buckle my shoe". When we read books, I name everything, point out pictures. When they began showing an interest in letters and numbers we started talking about what letters words started with "D is for dog", and pointed out numbers, and counting things, "Look, you have 5 cookies, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5'. Really any interaction with your child is a chance to teach them. I always follow this rule, I call it Say One More Thing. So if my child says 'Bird!', I say "You're right, there's a bird. The bird is flying". I have now added a piece of information for my child to digest. If you do that with everything, you'll be amazed at what they pick up. :)

bigmamakelsey 09-14-2012 11:32 AM

Re: "actively teach" your toddler or just play and let them "learn naturally"?
 
We teach day to day living to. Simple things - if you hand them a banana, ask what color it is. If you turn off a light, describe what you're doing. It's easier than sitting down and schooling them.
My DS is almost 3 and knows his colors, shapes, abcs, and he can count to 20..BUT, he still doesn't speak clearly and in full sentences. I wouldn't put too much stress on it. All kids develop at different ages.

danielle 09-14-2012 11:35 AM

Re: "actively teach" your toddler or just play and let them "learn naturally"?
 
naturally and through play

Tommys_Mommy 09-14-2012 11:39 AM

Re: "actively teach" your toddler or just play and let them "learn naturally"?
 
With my oldest I did a lot of one on one learning time and he loved it. With my youngest there just isn't the time there was when it was just two of us. I do feel guilty, because I feel like my older son knew much more at the age my youngest is now but I try to remind myself it may be partly because of their differences and partly because of the lack of structured learning time. That being said, my younger is way ahead of what my older was physical capability wise. He walked much earlier and has been a climber pretty much from the get go! I would just try to squeeze some in when you can. I love the Say one more thing suggestion, that's great! I am really going to start trying that. My son just turned 18 months old (3/6/11) too. :)

pumkinsmommy 09-14-2012 11:54 AM

Re: "actively teach" your toddler or just play and let them "learn naturally"?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by danner (Post 15681807)
naturally and through play



I think this is the best approach with lots of reading thrown in.

Shimpie 09-14-2012 12:00 PM

Re: "actively teach" your toddler or just play and let them "learn naturally"?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mibarra (Post 15681761)
No, I do a child centered approach. I don't specifically sit and say "Now we will learn body parts", I follow my childs lead and integrate it into daily living. As we're getting dressed, bathing, etc, we talk about body parts: put the shirt over your head, put in our arms, let's put the shoes on your feet, lets wash your face. We play games and sing songs that teach, like "head, shoulders, knees, and toes", "one, two, buckle my shoe". When we read books, I name everything, point out pictures. When they began showing an interest in letters and numbers we started talking about what letters words started with "D is for dog", and pointed out numbers, and counting things, "Look, you have 5 cookies, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5'. Really any interaction with your child is a chance to teach them. I always follow this rule, I call it Say One More Thing. So if my child says 'Bird!', I say "You're right, there's a bird. The bird is flying". I have now added a piece of information for my child to digest. If you do that with everything, you'll be amazed at what they pick up. :)

Awesome post! You've eloquently summarized it and even given it a name. This is kinda my philosophy. I'm always narrating the common things I do. By nature, I'm not terribly talkative. However, I make it a point to talk when DD is with me. It's not hard now when 2 year old DD is constantly asking, "Wha doooing? Wha dat? Whyyyyyy?"


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