A few days ago I was asked how I would support my little son and what measures I would take myself. Since I am currently completing my training to become an educator, my friends were probably hoping for new wisdom about promoting toddlers. For me the questions were logical and I understand them. Because parents always want the best for their children and so it happens that purchases and investments are often made in order to prepare the child for the future in the best possible way. It is bought, tried out and used. Regardless of whether these measures are ultimately effective or not.
Today there are an infinite number of children’s electronic toys, toys, and the like. There are now even TV stations that have specialized in the “promotion of children” and produce material for this in the form of videos and TV programs. There are hardly any limits to the ideas here.
What to do as a parent
But do you need all of that nowadays? Do all these things help with the development of your own child or am I overwhelming them with this? Do I have to invest in this kind of thing to keep up with other kids? What if I can’t afford this? Many questions for which there are initially no very precise answers.
Because the development of a child is by no means a one-way street or can be ticked off using a checklist. There are steady learning successes and the games played are often repeated. My son, for example, was already screwing screws into a wooden slat with a screwdriver when he was two years old. After a few days this game was over and other interesting things followed. But now, at almost three years old, the screw and the wood are interesting again. This time, however, with a cordless screwdriver and not with a screwdriver. What I mean by that is that even small changes are enough to set new impulses and suggestions.
The most important thing for children is to discover and deepen their own senses. Touching, smelling or feeling, for example, are essential functions in a child’s development. The better these are trained, the more intensely a child can gain experience. Our senses offer a point of communication with the world.
Do you enjoy being in the great outdoors? Wonderful! Take your child on a journey of discovery into the forest. You can hardly offer anything better. Because the variety and diversity of materials that a forest offers are almost unlimited. You are now wondering how do I get it? Sure there are different types of flora and fauna. But that is not the important point. It’s all about the details. Pick up two different sticks and discover them. Everyone is different, even if your child collects 100 more. He will find differences in everyone. In comparison, you have different colors with Duplo, but all Duplo stones are identical. In addition, the cost of the forest is zero 😉 I think you understand what I mean by that.
Furthermore, it is of course important that you do things together that you also enjoy yourself. Do you hate cycling or are you extremely reluctant to be in the forest? Better think of alternatives. Because if you do not enjoy these things, your child will notice this immediately and accordingly will not react so interested to the new impressions. This also applies to reading books or listening to music. Manfred Spitzer and Norbert Herschkowitz wrote a very nice text on this in the book “How children think about learning”: If you like to read Kant, then read Kant to your child and not some children’s book that you don’t like yourself.
It goes without saying that love, affection and trust are necessary for optimal development and development of a toddler. Do not take every step from your child, but accompany them through it. Only intervene when they ask for your help and you realize they need your help. Even if washing your hands or putting on your jacket takes 5 minutes. Simply plan this time into your everyday life. At the same time, the stress level is much lower as a result.
But what about all the toys? Are these needed? I recommend making fewer toys available and replacing them regularly (every 4-6 weeks). See which areas your child is currently interested in and how you can address this interest. By the way, it has meanwhile been proven that watching TV among small children delays language development and is therefore not ideal. Therefore, keep TV consumption to a minimum. However, I don’t think much of bans entirely. The same applies to smartphones or digital learning devices.
So you can see that adventure and togetherness are more important than more expensive or fancy toys. Do research together with your child and awaken your own research spirit. Build on your child’s current interest and just take your time. In my opinion, this is the best way to support the normal development of a child 😊