Have you ever taken your baby to baby-group and your baby has been very active, taking toys from the other children? All you want to do leave hurriedly, or give them a crash course in sharing. If you and the other adults present don’t understand that learning to share can take between two to three years it can be really embarrassing.
Have you ever heard it said that a child doesn’t need lots of toys; they just need you to sit and play with them? This can really hit the guilt chord…we can end up torn between wanting to do what’s best for our children, but needing to balance that against the everyday reality of doing jobs around the house, or working. We start to question whether we might be hindering their development, or missing out on connecting and having fun with them.
I can understand the urge to walk babies. After all, they seem to like it so much. When we help our babies walk, they are gleefully entertained — enjoying us enjoying them — while we’re getting a preview of one of life’s major milestones. Sometimes we’re compelled to walk our babies because we think they need help developing their motor skills and believe it our duty to teach them. We worry that our children will fall behind if we don’t give them a hand or two (literally).
Your 10-month-old spends the majority of your playgroup session climbing and squirming on your lap, using you to pull up to standing as you sit on the floor.
Your 18-month-old can’t seem to make up his mind. First he wants to go outside. Two minutes later he wants to come back in. A minute later he wants to go out again.
Your 2-year-old isn’t ready to get into her car seat, regardless of your schedule. Her resistance and stalling seem to increase each day despite your patience and respectful attitude. When you’ve finally run out of time and need to place her into the seat yourself, she screams.
Your 3-year-old wants you to play with him when you need to make dinner. He howls and holds onto your legs. A few minutes later he hits the dog. At dinner time, he demands yogurt instead of the food you’ve prepared. Later he refuses to get out of the bath tub and get ready for bed.
What do these toddlers have in common? They’ve been left hanging in toddler testing limbo.