Life13 Oct 2009 01:54 pm

A child’s ability is truly amazing. I believe our job as parents and caregivers is to encourage and nurture that ability enough to stretch the child while carefully and skillfully balancing spurring on growth without leading to too much frustration.

In my years of teaching daycare, we held quite high expectations of the children which we found they were able to uphold even if there were lower expectations in the home. We were surprised when some children would come to us at three to five years of age and dependent on adults for even the simplest of tasks. In the beginning it was a lot of work to get these kids up to speed but it was so rewarding to see their confidence and skill level grow.

As a parent having this education and experience behind me, I still find myself doing things for Leah that she is quite capable herself. Sometimes it is because I’m in a hurry or it is easier to just do it for her or I am totally oblivious to her skill level.


Leah received this great shape sorter at my baby shower which she has been playing with for over a year now. At first she just would pick up the shapes and chew on them. As she got older, we would show her how to put the shapes in the ball and line up the shapes for her.

Not that long ago, Leah and I were chilling on the couch playing with the shapes. Leah would pick up a shape and I would find the corresponding shape on the ball and point it out to her. When Morgan walked by, he told me to let her do it herself. I was amazed when I sat on my hands and let her figure it out for herself. Sure, it took a little longer but I was so proud to watch my little girl do it on her own. Leah was also one proud little girl who just needed her momma to step back and let her shine.

Being with Leah all the time and watching her grow, sometimes I forget that she is ready for more independence and ready for some new challenges. My mommy friends are such a great resource as we share what activities are kids have been up to lately. Without realizing it, we are helping each other assist in our children’s development. Though all children progress at different rates, we can share many ideas and take what works for our child.

I am sure it will be a lifelong process trying to keep a step ahead of Leah as we try to meet her needs to the best of our ability. What a wonderful journey it is as we watch our children learn, discover and grow as we try to set up the environment in which they can excel.

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