We parents always want the best for our child. Especially in this day and age, we give it a lot of thought. We read guidebooks, exchange ideas and want to create the best conditions for our child to grow up. On the one hand, knowledge is power, but on the other hand, as a new mom or dad, you can quickly become very insecure. Far too often, we tend to draw comparisons. How does Johanna do it with her Jonte and why do they do it so differently? Why does Carla from XY actually already sleep through the night, while we here get up five times a night and nurse needs? But Nora is already walking at ten months and Claudia takes Harry to Pekip, baby swimming and early musical education. I used to drive myself crazy far too quickly – because I compared. I don’t do that anymore.
Instead, I trust
that I (or we as parents) intuitively do a lot of things right.
We know that every child has his or her own pace. One child walks a little earlier, another later. Another child is super fit motorically, the next linguistically. Realizing that we are all wonderfully unique (and so are our children) and therefore all have our own pace, strengths and interests takes a lot of pressure off. Let’s sit back and enjoy the time with the kids. They grow up so fast – and at some point, at some point, they almost all walk and talk.
Play is learning and learning is play
– Children learn through play!
Children are fundamentally curious and learn through play – and they do so naturally in their everyday lives and of their own accord. Because for children, play is their way of learning. They are inquisitive, curious and bright little discoverers of the world. That’s why it’s important to give children plenty of space to discover their environment. In play. Because playing means learning. And learning means playing and having fun at the same time.
As I just wrote, children discover their world and practice in the process. They play with a lot of enthusiasm and dedication and can really lose themselves in the game. In this way, they understand connections, find out how one thing or another works and what the meaning and purpose behind certain things, processes, etc. is. In everyday play they train their motor skills, their language and so much more. By the way, the everyday life there with its everyday objects is often already very exciting and sufficient.
Meaning: During play, children practice many different areas, such as thinking skills, self-confidence and self-affirmation, creativity, empathy, the ability to deal with conflict, as well as adhering to rules and enduring disappointment or failure.
All of this happens completely naturally, by the way.
The only way to support your child is to give him or her plenty of space for free and self-determined play. That is the key: giving the child a lot of freedom and space to try things out, to get to know each other, to understand each other and thus to learn. We as parents don’t have to dictate anything. The child sets the pace. And we can and may accompany. We are the contact persons and are welcome to be the audience, to offer suggestions and to play along with our child.
Toys for babies and toddlers
Babies and toddlers experience everyday things as incredibly exciting. Be it the pot in combination with a cooking spoon, a sponge or baking paper (because it crackles so nicely). In addition, you can “offer” them reduced toys. Here applies quite clearly, less is more. It is better to have few toys, but ones that inspire and appeal to the children.
My children loved and love it colorful. So colorful toys were always something that was well received and enjoyed being played with. We always tended to offer a very select set of toys for the baby and toddler years. A small, colorful mix. And personally, we’ve always done well with that.