Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thoughts on twos - not so terrible -

Recently, in a conversation I had with a friend regarding the early stage of a child's life, I was left wondering why those early years, two's and three's and four's…years of which I thoroughly enjoyed, have been dealt a bad hand. A stage of development now stigmatized in the culture as the terrible twos.

If you think about the amazing opportunity one has when dealing with a toddler going through that stage, I'm sure you would see it as a blessing. Think of this; at no other time in a child's life will you have a greater impact on their self-esteem, sense of being, as well as their ability to deal with the unknown and to help shape their courage.

Most of us have decided that a child wanting to climb on the counter, run outside, jump off high places, put everything in his or her mouth or never stop with the questions are somehow all bad things. It's not though. You are their first teacher.

You can become the captain of their voyage. You can show them how to jump off and still be safe or how to find an alternative passage to get from point A to point B. There will be plenty of things that will be difficult and at times frightening later in life but if in the beginning, you're always there, a few steps behind, encouraging them to taste what they have found or to teach them to smell it first, hold it in their exploring hands and to look around and find where it came from, they will know how to cope with the unknown when confronting the world that awaits them.

To a grown-up, a daisy or grasshopper or broken twig is uneventful and ordinary and bland. But to a child, things are new and full of color. Things are animated and make sounds they've never heard before. To a child who has spent the first part of his or her life in a predefined space, the awakening of the possible has begun, the crib has opened its door and the sedentary existence relates no more. A whole new world awaits and we should walk a few steps behind their awakening.

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