Updated: Apr 25, 2021
Sensory bins, flashcards, circle times, and memberships to classes of all sorts have consumed the world of childhood. Perhaps it's done in good motive by parents and educators, (and with some good research), however I'm seeing a trend in both children and mothers of being utterly exhausted and overwhelmed by it all.
This "I must do everything I can to make my child succeed" mentality tends to lead to a fork in the road for moms. They either turn into :
A) A mom that is spending so much money and time scheduling, sorting, rotating, pinning, scrolling, googling, and creating "learning moments".
B) Moms that have become paralyzed with intimidation so they "give up" and give over a screen. Do you want to know a secret? Do you want to know what is the best activity for brain, body, emotional, and social development? REAL LIFE. Are you disappointed? I hope not. I hope this liberates you from a weight of "what the heck do I do all day with this kid?" and "I'm not doing anything with them!"
I know it may sound vague, but truly, the kids that stand shoulders above the rest aren't those who know their colors, ABCs, and numbers. It's those who have mastered (or at least become well versed in) :
THESE are the skills that we as parents must put stock into. Focusing on these skills are SO MUCH more important than facts and stats. These are the ingredients that make learners. And you only develop these through ... you guessed it.... real life moments.
Here's the thing: some mom personalities truly enjoy the activities. If you like activities and glue guns, and water tables... ENJOY. Do the crafts, buy the tubs, and SAVOR this season. (I'm one of those moms) But your child will not be behind if they never touch a sensory bin. They will learn the same cause and effect from splashing in the bathtub. Honestly we have created a lot of fancy terms for things that happen naturally.
Life is a beautiful classroom. And you Mama are an amazing teacher.
***I want to release you from the pressure to do it all, and challenge you to simply bring them along. ***
That is what will cultivate those big 3 : Curiosity, Compassion, and Self Control. Those are MUCH more important than knowing their ABCs, and multiplication charts.
Curiosity says : Stop and observe
Compassion says :Stop and feel
Self Control says : Stop. ;) (It is HUGE to teach children "You control your body. You can stop". If they don't know how to slow down and stop, independent play and deep learning is an impossible task.)
"Sweetie, look at this tiny white flower. God made this. Do you think it's beautiful? " (Curiosity)
"Oh no, teddy bear fell down. Let's pray for him and give him a hug." (Compassion)
"Mama is feeding baby, so you need to play by yourself. You can read a book or play with blocks. Which do you think would be most enjoyable? (Self Control)
While reading a book ..."Look at that bunny sitting in the chair. I wonder what they are thinking about." (Curiosity)
"At the store, I'm going to give you the money to give to the cashier. Let's practice looking in his or her eyes to make her feel loved." (Compassion) And on and on and on for 18+ years. :)
Explaining, training, repeating, learning, over and over again. This is the process of discipleship. This is the process of training children. This is the way of parenting.
It is not for the faint at heart, but God believes in you. He gave you a child, an arrow, to sharpen and point in the right direction. Cheering You On, Abby