Dear Niklaus · Parenting Tips · Uncategorized

Follow Your Child

As a new mom, I had no idea how to raise a little human. For me, keeping my son alive, healthy and clean i.e., the washing, changing of nappies and feeding comes quite manageable even up to now. But what I find it most challenging and sometimes crippling is parenting. How to raise this innocent and adorable little human to become a good man that makes you want to live in the world longer.

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What is clear to me is that I want to be his friend and be a cool mom. But contemplating on that sentence, I know that being a parent takes more than that and honestly, I don’t know exactly how I could achieve and what exactly would that mean as a mother.

So, I did my little research which only started when I finally had a little help. Side note: I urged every mom-to-be to take your time while your still pregnant to research on the way you would want to raise your child and ensure to align it with the other parent. With so many available resources online, what have appealed to me the most is the Montessori principle on “follow your child”. Just to be clear, up until now, I haven’t fully applied all principles of Maria Montessori as I also haven’t read her books. ☹

But, this simple yet difficult-to-apply-at-first principle has guided me through parenting my son. And, all I can say is that I’m happy that I have followed this principle and my child. I say difficult, because following your child seems like a terrible idea, after all, they’re just babies, who we know don’t know a thing about this world. But with the little research I had, I learned that babies brain from 0-3 learned more than what we would learned in our childhood and adulthood. It was mind-blowing and eye opening for me, and this was all backed up by research both psychologist, neurologist and educators.

With that in mind, I decided to trust my son. To follow him, to not expect from him, to just observe and have my mind open for room where I can be of assistance to him. This change of behavior has helped me with my frustrations on whether my son has a problem on his growth and development, even when we heard good things every check-up with his pediatrician.

The Montessori principle revolved around following the child, but what exactly did she mean by that. Here is an article that greatly helped me get better understanding of it. For me, the top two principles guides the rest of the principles: that it is by following the child and respecting and encouraging your child’s absorbent mind and sensitive periods can make the other principles happen. This is also where prepared environment came in. Ever heard of overstimulation for a baby? I actually just read this during my research and knowing it enlightens me in a way on how I can help my child learn. It also supports my idea that of not wanting too many toys for my son, but my reasons are for practicality: our house is tiny and toys are expensive.

So, let me share with you my own experience of follow your child principle. In our home, the way we apply it is to not force activity on my son and to not say no on things he is trying even when we find it not yet safe for him, (just be sure to be on the sidelines when he fall). Instead of forcing him to do things, one thing that worked for us is to show him how to do things and show it the most enjoyable way we could. I’m a bit of a planning freak so I made sure to prepare Niklaus activity almost every week, one way that really helped me is to prepare his environment. Since we have a tiny house, preparing an environment dedicated to your son is quite hard, but what guides me is to ensure that my son has an access to his materials where he can freely choose what he wants to work on for the day and to make it available in most parts of the house.

Following my son has been our way in the home but the discipline did not actually get lost in the way. Through a prepared environment, we showed him order and by showing him how to do things, we provided some house rules. And, for most parts, he really obliged.

The benefit of this principle goes both ways, my son can learn happily, he actually never cries when he wake up in the morning (unless he’s teething, hungry, or someone forgot to change his nappy), he is focused on his work and gets confident if he accomplished his goals. So, for the parents, a happy child means a happy us, less tantrums means more bonding moment, less comparison means we were able to focus on what our child really needs rather than what he should be.

Here are a few photos to show proofs that this principle really works.

A confident child whose not afraid to move and try things.

Focused on his work.

A happy child.

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I really believe that parents should consider this principle. If you do, let me know how it goes.

Love,

mommy a

2 thoughts on “Follow Your Child

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