Posts Tagged ‘how to teach babies’

Monster is now 10 months old, and if there is one thing I have learnt it is that you can have an agenda in mind with how you are going to teach them certain things, but you can never anticipate their agenda to learn.

I have been an IT trainer for many years, even when my sole job has not been a trainer I have still managed to incorporate it into most of my roles. I heard a very apt description of this occupation recently and that is not only is it a privilege, but also you are always informed.

Part of the job is to find out the clients’ requirements. Once this is obtained, then you can effectively cater the session to meet their needs, which not only is time effective, it can also be cost effective. However, the greatest value of all means that the client gains the knowledge they require rather than unnecessary information.

With a baby, it is different as they cannot tell you their needs, it is up to you to interpret them.

One would think that there are certain core elements to a child’s development that they naturally pick up from their surroundings, and if they are lucky enough to have numerous toys to play with. The trick is to rotate the toys so they don’t become bored, and my monster suffers greatly with that, but at the same time try and meet their needs and make it fun.

If learning is fun then they will grasp what they need to quicker and more thoroughly. One thing I have learnt with Monster is that they are fuelled by belligerence (well I actually knew that before they were born), but they are also quite ambitious and want to learn everything now. So it is my job… no purpose… to help them get where they need to be, but also include the skills that they wouldn’t necessarily gravitate towards, but that are still essential.

This is where it can get tricky, as one can become over obsessed with teaching their children things that it becomes less fun, and as a result they can then become unenthusiastic to learn.

I found myself recently doing this and not necessarily scheduling every moment, but allotting time and rotating toys in a precise way, so Monster got the overall skillset I felt they needed. They soon lost enthusiasm and found that playing with doors and shutting me out of rooms was a far more valuable education, as well as lots of fun.  I then took a step back, realised what I was doing and adopted a more laid back approach. I was surprised with myself as the approach my husband and I have taken so far has been natural and easy going, so I couldn’t understand why I felt the need to schedule Monster’s learning.

Today Monster and I played a wooden alphabet game where you place the letters back in their respective holes, and Monster gets to the point where part of the board is complete, and then they pick it up and turn it upside down. In fact Monster did that with their dinner too, so it could have been an off day, but I had to stop myself from saying ‘no you have to fill in every gap’ and then it is finished. I had to remember that Monster is a baby and when babies grasp how to do something, they want to do it again and again. Even though it is ‘old hat’ to us, it is a whole new world for them.

So with that in mind, I may not be able to verbally grasp what Monster needs, but so long as we cover the basics and try and make it as fun as possible, then I do not think we can go wrong. Overall the most valuable point of all of this is time, and this is where Monster gets the best out of me. After all that’s all children want is our time.

When writing this, I was reminded of a Star Trek Voyager episode where Seven of Nine has taken on four former Borg children…. and she schedules fun with a military precise manner.