From about four months to four years of age, children are wiring in competency. Through exploring their environment, they learn the valuable lesson of cause and effect, er, the natural consequences of their actions. Miles knows that when he presses the big red plastic button, a cow sound comes out or that dog hair is a tasty treat. The more difficult experiences for a parent to patiently observe are the teetering falls, bumps to the head, and frustration that is created when he is trying hard to figure something out but it isn't happening. When a baby is interrupted from doing something that a parent deems unsafe (or inconvenient?), he wires in that mommy must know that he isn't capable of doing that particular thing right. When mommy or daddy regularly pull baby back off of activities for whatever reason, he understands that what he wants to do isn't what he should be doing. His body begins to try to work for someone else's mind-no easy feat. (Have you ever tried to tailor your actions in order to get a favorable response from someone?) This is a sensitive lesson that has caused us to put away everything that is unsafe for Miles so that we don't have to pull him away from anything at all. We want him to feel competent at everything he tries and accomplishes. There is a very wise woman who I will soon link to who has said that if you are afraid that your hardwood floors could be dangerous for your little one, MOVE. As an adult, the person who was controlled or hovered about often has a fragmented way of going about tasks. Moving from A to B proves most difficult. Now, what did I come into the office for?


Blogger Wendy said...

i feel like i'm always goofing up on this one. there are just some things i can't remove...like the wires to the computer under the desk. still i try to phrase my request so that satch doesn't feel singled out, i.e. "WE don't play with wires"...and then redirect his attention towards something more amusing.

i also try to give him similar "safe" objects. for instance, since i don't want him chewing on my cds, i give him all the clear divider cd's and an empty spool to store them in. i put funky stickers on the clear cds and mark them with crayon so they look interesting. He hasn't gone after my cds since.

When my husband fried my keyboard, I put it on the floor for Satch. He likes pounding the heck out of it.

I still have a hard time with the electrical outlets even though they're covered. He points them ALL out and says "no no", but eventually works his way towards them.

satch eats cat hair...and i admit, it drives me nuts.

8/22/2006 03:38:00 AM  
Anonymous gangie said...

you must have gone to the office to brighten my day with those pictures.
fascinating stuff, this faith parenting. it makes so much sense and even though it's new and different to me, this old dog is willing to learn some new tricks. plus, i have lots of pet hair for sugar to use as learning tools.
i would have loved to have you or wendy as my mommy

8/22/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger tariansdream said...

Fragmented.... what a nice thought... interesting word.

Our house with the kids at this age (6 & 11) once again contains "No" but now it is at an appropriate time when they can appreciate the reasoning. And if they ask Why, it never follows with "Cause, I'm the Mom" or "Because I said so" Those two statements still haunt my dreams!!

This is not to say that it cannot be a tiring conversation to explain something in 6 different ways and sometimes in 7 possible languages... ie: Mom language, daughter language, pig latin... upside down head hanging off the bed speech, sit down with Babble fish and translate to spanish so we can both learn something... etc. Anything so she gets that I'm not changing my mind... UNLESS she finds a valid reason, not just the voice of being 11 (which I LOVE)... and with the boy, who is 6 and still momma's boy (THANK the Goddess) he so far gets the No's with explanation ... these are usually danger, health and safety things. Like Yes, I realize the boy next door has his skate board on top of the mini-van, but NO, you cannot do that... please keep yours on the ground.

Don't let me mislead, we have tough times... split households, and time spent with the other parent who does not share the discipline system we do... this makes our life a bit hard. Kids come back frustrated, wound very tight and extremely sensitive. Which makes this Cancer Mom... OIY.... "(

However, these kids are blessings and beautiful and this is where they want to be. I only know that because THEY tell me.

The rest of it we figure they'll do it once... and they won't do it again... hopefully =) Otherwise, how are they going to learn?

and btw... I was supposed to be ummm... paying a bill ....

8/23/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

this is so wise.

i have so much to learn from you about motherhood...when the time comes for me.

keep sharing these thoughts. i soak them in like a sponge.

love you, soul sister.

8/23/2006 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger The Whole Self said...

pixie- even though i didn't comment right away...this post got me thinkin'...and i'm still thinkin' about it. it made me look at myself and the way i parent my adventurous and sometimes-danger-seeking wee. thank you for enlightening me and challenging me.

8/24/2006 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger Goddess of Leonie said...

you are so precious and organic
and i learn deeply from you.

8/25/2006 03:07:00 AM  

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