What our children should know by age 3?
With the innocent aim of finding out what is right for our new families, it can become so easy to start comparing our parenting style, or the development of our children to others we meet in our community, or even to information we find on the internet.
When they should sleep through the night, What they should know at their age, When they should be able to count to 10… 20… When they should be able to spell their own name.
It is important to remember that each child develops at their own pace. Childhood shouldn’t be a race or a competition.
As a loving parent it is only natural to want our children to succeed, but after asking a couple of thought provoking questions to a handful of moms in my own community, here are the comforting responses:
“What should our young children know by the time they go to pre- school?”
Know that they are loved no matter what. Just think of the stability you are giving to your child when they know that they are free to have a wide range of emotions, and that even though you may not approve of certain behaviors, that you will always love them.
Know that they are safe and cared for.Know how to laugh, act silly, and use their imagination. Children should be free to imagine cars that fly and travel underwater, or teleporting themselves to different planets. The adults who still use their imaginations are often those creating the future.
Know that they are unique and special.
Know that what they love to do is important, and be encouraged to follow their interests.
Know that it’s OK to ask questions.
Know that it is OK to make mistakes. Some children are frightened to try new things because they don’t want to get it wrong. Help them try things that they find a bit tricky so that they can gain self confidence and start to learn how to problem solve.
Know that it is not a waste of time to be “just playing around” Let them immerse themselves in trying to tape three toilet roll tubes together, spend hours in fantasy play, or playing in the mud. The rapidly declining free time that is available to our children to just “be”, may just be their greatest teacher.
Why not make your own list of what you feel is important for your child to “Know” and make time this summer to focus on a few.
Discover new ways to engage your own child’s unique interests and natural curiosities without comparison and have fun just being a kid again.
Written by Stef Green (www.stefstation.com)