Subscribe by Email

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Science Experiment Update

Raising my son this way is something I have been planning for ten years, he is the sole subject in this study I am doing about how children would behave if raised differently so I enjoy reading Standard American Parenting books about how he would be behaving if he were being raised "normally." Here are some "normal" behavioral phases that my son never went through--

-The "no" phase. Anders didn't even use the word "no" until he was 23-months old. He uses no to answer questions I ask him about whether he wants something or not and to dislike reality (when he hurts himself he sometimes says with great sadness, "Noooooooo." "No" is not a power word for him the way it is for some children.

-The running-away-from-mom-straight-into-danger phase. My son knew about "hot" things when he was around 10-months-old. He knows when a stove is hot and when it's not. If you tell him that a stove (or fireplace) is dangerous and hot when it's not because you think he can't tell the difference--he will immediately seek to touch it to ascertain what he suspects: that you are lying. After that, it's over. He won't trust you anymore and will seek to find out for himself whether things are dangerous or not. (I discuss this more in my post http://roslynross.blogspot.com/2013/09/toddlers-are-not-dangerous-by-nature.html)

Still waiting to see if we ever get a "mine" phase, a "I do it myself" phase or tantrums or basic rebelliousness/meanness/expressions of personal power (My son will is currently 23 months.) Will keep you updated. 

Toddlers are NOT Dangerous by Nature

My son knew about "hot" things when he was around 10-months-old. He knows when a stove is hot and when it's not. If you tell him that a stove (or fireplace) is dangerous and hot when it's not because you think he can't tell the difference--he will immediately seek to touch it to ascertain what he suspects: that you are lying. After that, it's over. He won't trust you anymore and will seek to find out for himself whether things are dangerous or not.

Children are not dangerous by nature. We make them dangerous by lying to them.

And by not trusting them, by not putting them in charge of their own safety. I have seen this time and time again, whether it was the two-year-old I saw on vacation trying to touch every stove because her parents wouldn't let her near them and told her they were hot even when they weren't or the two children constantly running at a rushing river (one who eventually fell in) because their parents wouldn't let them anywhere near it saying it was dangerous or the girl I saw at the park running from her mom straight into the road: parents create these problems.

An example of what I do: with the rushing river I told my 18-month-old son it was not safe and showed him how he could lay on his belly and put his hands in or how he could stand on the bank and throw rocks in. Because he trusts me so much he actually wouldn't go near the river to do either of those things unless I was with him.

A great thing to read on this subject is Bulletin Number 14 by Dr. Emmi Pikler


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How Do I Get So Much Reading Done?

People keep asking me how I get so much reading done while having a toddler at home--here is the answer:

1) I always have a book on my iPhone to listen to while I am in the car (but only books that I don't think I will need to refer to later in lectures or blog posts as those I need to read and underline all over)

2) I always have a book with me for all those times when I am ready to go and my toddler isn't. 95% of the time I don't mind staying longer at wherever we are if I can be reading. Many times when I arrive somewhere my son is asleep. I like to let him wake on his own so I can often be found sitting in my car in a parking lot happily reading.

3) I don't own a television. It's kind of insane how much time it frees up! I watch a lot of documentaries--while I am cooking in the kitchen. When I am relaxing I generally turn to my books.

4) I read whatever I am reading out loud to my son. Most of the time he is not interested for more than a few pages but... a few pages every day adds up.