It is BBQ season here in the East coast, time to go to the beach and parks. It is time to let the DVD players and TV sets stay off. After reading a really great blog www.loveyourglow.wordpress.com, I laughed about the fact that we, as a culture bring so many plastic toys to the beach and park. When taking my Brain gym class, the teacher explained that if children watch too much TV or stare at the computer, they lose their natural instinct to look peripheral vision. I think it’s the same when children play with toys at the beach, they might “forget” to check out how much sand their hands can hold…
I played with many 2-4 year neuro-typical old children this past weekend, at a BBQ. All of a sudden I found myself in the suburbs, where the one word that constantly came to mind was “abundance.” I had so much fun talking and playing with the children at this party. Yes were sitting in a giant bouncer, but with no toys or stuff to use, we had fun, we told stories, we told jokes and we made up songs. This does not we had smooth sailing, there were problems and issues that arose. But they were solved so easily with just words. All the children were so attentive and engaged.
Because I work with children with special needs, with whom playing and talking does not come naturally, I forget how neuro-typical children operate. While it is a lot of work (ehem, like any child) I found myself watching how Mothers and Father’s handled their children’s behavior situations. I do not judge, just observe. In my experiences, parents that respect their child’s words and requests, have children that were open minded and wonderful self-esteem.
When I returned from playing with the children, almost every adult commented that I must be exhausted. In fact as soon as I tell people I work with children with special needs, people always say “you must have SO much patience.” My reply is always the same, “I need more patience to work with adults.” All adults, even ones without children.
The purpose of my radio show, this blog, what I talk about at workshops is simple. Respect yourself, respect your child.
Leave the plastic toys home, let your child figure out how to move the clouds. Take the DVD player out of the car, make up a song about traffic, share your feelings stories with your children. Be honest, let them know that sometimes you get angry at people. Stop telling them what to do, and do it yourself, “model” how you want them to be. Be a teacher not a servant, embrace their individuality and let them be independent.