Ask Amma

baby learning

In When on 14 June 2011 at 3:28 pm

Even though it’s probably early to think about these things for our daughter …. I wanted to ask to you about homeschooling or self-learning in general.
– Mom of a 6 month-old in Mumbai

It’s never to early to entrust your child with time, space, freedom and respect, and to
observe how she expresses herself, makes choices, and explores. Respond when she calls. Include her in your work and conversations. Include yourself in hers. Clear the way and let her roam, touch, bang and use all her senses to seek knowledge and experience. If you don’t want her to touch (or taste) it, keep it out of reach. Ensure that there are plenty of real things (e.g dishes, buckets, water, mud …) and not just toys that she can touch. Say yes often so it becomes natural. If you have to remove her, "That is unstable, let me find a stronger chair that you can climb" gives more information than "don’t do that." Much is conveyed by your tone, and babies often start understanding words sooner than they let on.

Challenge yourself to learn from her as much as she learns from you. Listen. Alfie Kohn writes about the hazards of “blurting out judgments of our children” – the reasons he lists apply to much more than the beleaguered “good job.”

  1. Only read part of it, but the article The Power (and Peril) of
    Praising your kids is SO enlightening! Totally counterintuitive to the
    “modern” way of bringing up children. Makes me concerned though that
    even if I might check myself, what about others: friends and doting
    family members who love to shower praise and revel in the performance
    – praise cycle.

    Would like to learn more about managing own (parental) and others
    reactions on this.. If withholding added sugar can be a constant
    battle, then being straightfaced about li’l accomplishments will
    probably come across as downright draconian to grandparents and others
    sold on the traditional way of parenting…

    Also if praising is not the right reaction then what is? Clearly, some
    of the looking back into the eyes of a parent after a “smart” move
    seems to asking for some reaction..


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