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Infant and Child development - long - Page 2

post #21 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetobemama View Post
My niece is 9 mos old and recently learned to clap her hands. She would let my sister sing "if you're happy and you know it" 15,000 times a day if my sister could comply. My son loves "the very hungry caterpillar" and would let me read that book, and only that book, to him every hour of the day. And we have played with his wooden train tracks literally every day for the past 6 mos. There is SO MUCH to learn from playing with a familiar object in more than one way. By the way, with the trains for example, though it is the same toy, it is new every day because he can experiment with endless new combinations of track and trains, make longer and shorter trains, etc. He learns problem solving, patience, weight, length distance, etc. Something new every time!
Yup!
Quote:
I think one of our problems (someone referenced this already) is that current kid/baby toys are marketed for ADULTS in a couple of ways: 1. draw attention from a shopper on a shelf full of a whole lot of toys, and 2. encourage futher buying of the same toy or another toy from the same brand (keep us buying more!)
Again, YUP!
Quote:
It is well documented (though I am cursing myself for not having the reference here) that noise levels on baby toys are generally set with the goal of catching an adult shoppers attention in the noise level of a large store. WAY too many decibels for what a child should have next to their ear playing with a toy at home.
Gosh, makes sense.
Quote:
And MANY toys are one dimensional. They can be played with in just one way. This leaves kids without the opportunity to make their own discoveries and develop creativity.
This is my biggest annoyance. I am not sure what kids are supposed to do with most of the toys when the toys essentially do the playing and 'entertain' the children. I am inclined to think this is not a good idea. I have not found the way to tell grandmother (MIL) that I do not want DS entertained - she thinks it's great and what's wrong with him being entertained?????? I guess I should be asking the question why it is not a good idea to entertain children as opposed to letting them explore and learn? It seems (form what I have seen around me) that this is what happens for many many families.... but it does not feel right to me.

Quote:
I have also read (though, again, don't have the refence with me) that if two groups of kids are both given the same wide variety of toys, but one group is given each toy one at a time, and the other group is given free range to play with all the toys in any combination they come up with, the second group will show dramatically higher levels of learning and creativity development with the EXACT same toys. So I read this as a testament to the importance of quality and experience and interaction with the environment rather than "fancy" toys.
This is interesting. Somehow I would have guessed that fewer toys would actually be getting better results... ie if there are too many toys it's too much stimulation and the child kinda doesn't know what to do, whereas a smaller number of toys and the child can construct their play without being overwhelmed by choice... but I could be off on that.

Quote:
**Excuse any weird sentences or incomplete thoughts...I only have a second free, and I tried to get in what I could, I will be back later to make more sense or clarify where needed***
Thanks for sharing! :

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
: Isn't it a classic thing that mom knows every.single.word of every.single.kid.video while the 2-year old's still saying "again!!"?
I'm not at this stage yet, but I am looking forward to it
Quote:
I think everyone interested in this topic should read the book "Einstein Never Used Flashcards." Basically, according to the child development researchers, the flashy toys are all gimmick and what the OP describes is the way to go for learning and learning potential.
I have seen this book in the education forum and thought: EXACTLY! And who is a better example for thinking outside the box in a creative kind of way?? I am going to have to get this book I think! And be able to present my choices in an intelligent way when family members freak out that I am not doing what every other parent they know of small children is doing.... Although slowly slowly I think people are getting that I might be on to something!!!
post #22 of 91
The way I explain TV and babies to my 3 year old is:

He is just a baby, he needs to learn all he can about real things, things he can touch and taste first.
post #23 of 91
There all ways for learning and what is fine for one may not be to the other.

As I mentioned, left and right / brain people, they learn in different ways and like different things as well. You may want to look at this web site and listen to the 360 pod cast
www.drawright.com
www.studio360.org/episodes/2006/09/14
~it's just a start to exploring the vas differences~


Quote:
"Einstein Never Used Flashcards."
this does NOT work for all, many left brain children only need to see a "flashcard" once, and the use of cards works for them.

Many children respond to repetitive actions (books read 10 times, songs repeated, etc.) but researches are finding NOT all do. Some are very bored and can not stand this type of actions. Schools are starting to change how they teach, no longer doing repetitive lessons and homework.

As with an infant, unlike most posters, I know of none who are able to maintain effective repetitiveness, nap time, feeding time, etc., are constantly in flux and thus promote change. What was fine at 6 months may not be a 7 months, there is constantly a need to adapt.

Some people like re-runs, others would not think to read a book twice, babies and children are the same way.
post #24 of 91
I didn't read all the replies, so I am not sure if anyone suggested the book Our Babies, Ourselves? It is awesome. It discusses different parenting practices globally and how the human infant evolved over time so that much of the "western thought" on childcare actually goes against evolutionary biology. VERY INTERESTING!!!
post #25 of 91
I think that this is a great discussion, and although I don't have time at the moment to reply I just wanted to say that I have looked over the posts and requested some of the books mentioned from my local library. I also wanted to add a resource that I have enjoyed and others may have heard of - it's an organization called "Zero to Three".

It has lots of research information regarding brain development, as well as articles and handouts for parents regarding play, etc. Just thought some of you may be ibterested in some of the topics they discuss!
post #26 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
The way I explain TV and babies to my 3 year old is:

He is just a baby, he needs to learn all he can about real things, things he can touch and taste first.
Yes, this makes sense to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post
There all ways for learning and what is fine for one may not be to the other.

As I mentioned, left and right / brain people, they learn in different ways and like different things as well. You may want to look at this web site and listen to the 360 pod cast
www.drawright.com
www.studio360.org/episodes/2006/09/14
~it's just a start to exploring the vas differences~
I am rather notorious for not following up on links - or it takes me a long time anyway. I will look them up later.
I am fascinated to think of an infant having right/left brain learning. When looking at left brain/right brain I know that the hemispheres both process information differently and process different information. They also work independently and synergistically. I know that after a stroke the prognosis is very different depending on which side of the brain the stroke happened. I know that I took a test and found that I work 53 - 47 % of each side of my brain. However, from what I know we are talking about the cortex of the brain, not the brain stem and not the midbrain (correct me if I am wrong).

Quote:
this does NOT work for all, many left brain children only need to see a "flashcard" once, and the use of cards works for them.
The card works in the way that they have learnt a number/letter? From what age do you think flashcard can benefit a child?

Quote:
Many children respond to repetitive actions (books read 10 times, songs repeated, etc.) but researches are finding NOT all do. Some are very bored and can not stand this type of actions. Schools are starting to change how they teach, no longer doing repetitive lessons and homework.
Do you have links (that I will get around to looking at). How are outcomes being measured? What is a definition of success?

Quote:
As with an infant, unlike most posters, I know of none who are able to maintain effective repetitiveness, nap time, feeding time, etc., are constantly in flux and thus promote change. What was fine at 6 months may not be a 7 months, there is constantly a need to adapt.
I do not know what other posters experiences have been. With this being my first child and me learning all the time, I can say that my DS does not maintain a schedule - but there is a rhythm emerging out of the disorder/chaos, and I am trying to work with that. I also need my DS to fit into my life. There are things that have to be done that cannot wait and I do think there is merit to DS at 6 months fitting into my life (this is obviously not possible with a new born). I think I need to think about this more, as I am not expressing myself very clearly yet.

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Some people like re-runs, others would not think to read a book twice, babies and children are the same way.
I think this might be where we disagree the most. I think that the way infants and young children experience the world is fundamentally/qualitatively different from how an adult experiences the world. Of course it is impossible to claim something as being right for every child. I guess I do not see the correlation between an adult not liking to see re-runs and a child not wanting to be read the same story. Yes, both are people, but I would argue that the reason and adult chooses to see a re-run and the reason a child asks for the same story are different reasons... although I am not yet sure I can put my finger on why. I am going to think about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by New_Natural_Mom View Post
I didn't read all the replies, so I am not sure if anyone suggested the book Our Babies, Ourselves? It is awesome. It discusses different parenting practices globally and how the human infant evolved over time so that much of the "western thought" on childcare actually goes against evolutionary biology. VERY INTERESTING!!!
No, I do not know this book. It sounds like it could shed light on this discussion. Could you share more?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoJournMama View Post
I think that this is a great discussion, and although I don't have time at the moment to reply I just wanted to say that I have looked over the posts and requested some of the books mentioned from my local library. I also wanted to add a resource that I have enjoyed and others may have heard of - it's an organization called "Zero to Three".

It has lots of research information regarding brain development, as well as articles and handouts for parents regarding play, etc. Just thought some of you may be ibterested in some of the topics they discuss!
I'll get to this link - it does sound like it could have interesting material. Could you also share more?
post #27 of 91

Very interesting

This is such an interesting thread! I wish I had more time to respond, but I just wanted to thank everyone for the different thoughts and opinions.

It occurred to me as I was reading, that isn't it possible that infants learn from BOTH novelty and regularity? I know I have read a study that concluded that infants learned from novelty (new things to look at, touch, taste, listen to,etc). I also know there is research showing that infants do well with regular routines and predictability. For example you can have an afternoon routine of napping, going outside to play, playing on the floor with toys, having snack- and yet have differences day to day....different toys or household objects to explore, different playgrounds or walking routes, different snacks to taste.

I would also agree infants come with their own tastes, preferences and temperaments. My own little one loves new things- gets excited over new foods, tosses old toys that she gets bored with, loves to talk to new people (and especially pets!). We have a baby friend of the same age that refuses new foods, loves the same toys, and is initially hesitant around new people or animals. When they are together the differences are very apparent.
post #28 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ema-adama View Post
This is interesting. Somehow I would have guessed that fewer toys would actually be getting better results... ie if there are too many toys it's too much stimulation and the child kinda doesn't know what to do, whereas a smaller number of toys and the child can construct their play without being overwhelmed by choice... but I could be off on that.
**Glad you mentioned this, I knew I hadn't been as clear as I wanted. The children weren't given loads of toys, but were given a small assortment of toys and allowed to play with them in any way that they wanted, and in any combination. The problem with giving kids one dimensional toys one at a time was that they were creating just one play scheme for each toy. But when several toys were presented and children were allowed to play with any or all toys in an manner they chose, they explored many more play schemes with each toy, becasue they looked at it in any way they chose, and then combined it with anything they wanted to. Each new play scheme is a new set of synaptic connections that have been formed, and as far as brain development goes...the more the merrier!!
Here is an example from my son at 8 mos...he had a wooden spoon, and really enjoyed it for a few min but then got bored, but then I also saw a roll of packing tape. So I rolled it to him, and the kid spent something like 20 uninterrupted minutes just doing anything he could think of with the 2 items. Banging one on the other, than reversing it. Putting the spoon through the roll, then on the roll, etc. I'm sure if there had been 15 things, it would have been too much and he would have not explored either thoroughly, but because it was 2 familiar things, but put together, he explored them both in new ways. *Neither object technically a "toy", BTW!

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

this does NOT work for all, many left brain children only need to see a "flashcard" once, and the use of cards works for them.


Many children respond to repetitive actions (books read 10 times, songs repeated, etc.) but researches are finding NOT all do. Some are very bored and can not stand this type of actions.
I have 2 questions about this post: 1. For the first sentence, just because this may be true, does it suggest that flashcards then SHOULD be used in place of other types of learning? Just because some kids can learn from flashcards, does that suggest that they wouldn't learn just as well from being introduced to the material in other ways?

And for the second sentence above, what age children is this research referencing? I only ask because I was under the impression that the OP was talking about babies and toddlers, and, in my experience, I have never met a baby who didn't like some repetition. Like a baby who has just learned peek-a-boo for example...I have never met one who learned it, and then was immediately bored with it and didn't want to repeat it even just a little bit. Just trying to clarify! Thanks!
post #29 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post
this does NOT work for all, many left brain children only need to see a "flashcard" once, and the use of cards works for them.
Don't get hung up on the title. While it does address what flashcards do and don't work for, that's only part of the whole thing.

I'm also not getting what babies needing different patterns of eating and sleeping at different stages of physical development has to do with arguing against repetition for mental development. Both 6 and 7 month olds (and 1 month olds and 17 month olds) eat when hungry, sleep when tired (okay, maybe not the 17 month old), doing so at different times isn't really "change."

I suspect that you're thinking in terms of older children. The book, and my take on this thread in general, is about kids under 6 years or so.
post #30 of 91
Megan, thank you for starting this discussion. i have appreciated seeing the different perspectives. This is a fairly big issue in my life right now too.

My healthy, happy, friendly, social seven month old is essentially toy-free and his development does not seem to be impaired by the fact that he plays with people instead of inanimate objects. Our family structure and lifestyle are quite nontraditional and i certainly wouldn't expect Terran to be blossoming so beautifully as far as going to work with me in the carrier if my job consisted of sitting at a computer for 8 hours straight every day, nor would i expect a dh who was paying all the bills so i could be a sahm to be...um...overly happy about my housecleaning and cooking standards, shall we say?.... but this is the life we have with the cards we have been dealt and i am very happy with what i am able to provide for my child.

My older children were raised with more of society's norm of "educational"
TV, always discontent and nagging for new plastic toys, hopelessly cluttered house, Christmas a nightmare of bickering, pettiness, and power trips among the adults in their lives and all that other crap most people who will read this haven't lived through yet.

I also found that the time I gained from having children who would "go to the other room and play with your toys now because we need to do big important things that grownups do when they get the children out from underfoot" was greatly overshadowed by all the time i had to spend pickintg up, organizing, cleaning, assembling, repairing, replacing and otherwise maintaining toys.
post #31 of 91
Bother, that rat study is bugging me because I swear I read some place that rats with no toys, but with other rats did better than rats alone with toys.
post #32 of 91
This is a great thread. I am going to move it out to parenting since it's not baby-specific. Hopefully, you'll get a whole bunch of new voices chiming in.
post #33 of 91
Subbing. I can't find the other thread about going toy free that I started on FYT so I guess I'll have to remember and retype some stuff later.

I hope some of the mamas from my defunct tribe find this thread and post here instead.
post #34 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by noordinaryspider View Post
Subbing. I can't find the other thread about going toy free that I started on FYT so I guess I'll have to remember and retype some stuff later.

I hope some of the mamas from my defunct tribe find this thread and post here instead.
It's right here. I found it with my mad searching skillz.
post #35 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post
Many children respond to repetitive actions (books read 10 times, songs repeated, etc.) but researches are finding NOT all do. Some are very bored and can not stand this type of actions. Schools are starting to change how they teach, no longer doing repetitive lessons and homework.
This may be true, but there's a fundamental difference between wanting a book read over and over and repetitive schoolwork. The former is child-directed while the latter is not. The children who crave repetitiveness will seek it out and request it. The children who do not, simply won't. No harm in choice, right? Where there can be harm, however, is when the repetitiveness (or lack there of) is not by choice, as in the case where a loud battery-operated toy won't turn off of where the school teacher demands multiple worksheets to learn the same lesson. Which is funny, because I've yet to hear of a case where a parent forces their kid to sit through yet another reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar when she'd rather read a different book.

The point is that play and learning should be child-directed. A baby sitting on the floor can choose to play with the same wooden spoon everyday, all day. Or, the baby can choose to hide the spoon under the couch and never look at it again. You don't need to know ahead of time what type of child you have as long as you follow his lead.

From my experience, though, I'd say that more young children crave repetition than not. And for those that do, providing that repetition is a good way to help them grow and develop.
post #36 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firecracker! View Post
This is such an interesting thread! I wish I had more time to respond, but I just wanted to thank everyone for the different thoughts and opinions.

It occurred to me as I was reading, that isn't it possible that infants learn from BOTH novelty and regularity? I know I have read a study that concluded that infants learned from novelty (new things to look at, touch, taste, listen to,etc). I also know there is research showing that infants do well with regular routines and predictability. For example you can have an afternoon routine of napping, going outside to play, playing on the floor with toys, having snack- and yet have differences day to day....different toys or household objects to explore, different playgrounds or walking routes, different snacks to taste.
I think this is spot on. (the bolded part). The way I am thinking at the moment is that within the framework of a rhythm, novelty can be introduced. I guess this would all be very personal. My concern is why do infants/toddlers need 'special' stuff to do this? Surely there is plenty of material in our homes and environment at large that provide this novelty (a later post gets into this). But I think we are on the same page, so to speak!

Quote:
I would also agree infants come with their own tastes, preferences and temperaments. My own little one loves new things- gets excited over new foods, tosses old toys that she gets bored with, loves to talk to new people (and especially pets!). We have a baby friend of the same age that refuses new foods, loves the same toys, and is initially hesitant around new people or animals. When they are together the differences are very apparent.
Of course, and the way I see it parenting is getting to know your baby so that you are meeting HIS/HER needs sensitively through observation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetobemama View Post
**Glad you mentioned this, I knew I hadn't been as clear as I wanted. The children weren't given loads of toys, but were given a small assortment of toys and allowed to play with them in any way that they wanted, and in any combination. The problem with giving kids one dimensional toys one at a time was that they were creating just one play scheme for each toy. But when several toys were presented and children were allowed to play with any or all toys in an manner they chose, they explored many more play schemes with each toy, becasue they looked at it in any way they chose, and then combined it with anything they wanted to. Each new play scheme is a new set of synaptic connections that have been formed, and as far as brain development goes...the more the merrier!!
This makes sense.... I have been thinking that more than about 5 (totally random number) toys, and it just gets overwhelming. It's too difficult to make a choice and the child could get whiny.

Quote:
Here is an example from my son at 8 mos...he had a wooden spoon, and really enjoyed it for a few min but then got bored, but then I also saw a roll of packing tape. So I rolled it to him, and the kid spent something like 20 uninterrupted minutes just doing anything he could think of with the 2 items. Banging one on the other, than reversing it. Putting the spoon through the roll, then on the roll, etc. I'm sure if there had been 15 things, it would have been too much and he would have not explored either thoroughly, but because it was 2 familiar things, but put together, he explored them both in new ways. *Neither object technically a "toy", BTW!
I love this example. Of course I see this as being very important. I guess I see the mistake - if it can be called that - when more equals better, so children have TONS.... because 2 is better than 1, does not mean 50 is better than 5, at least the way I see things.

Quote:
.... just because this may be true, does it suggest that flashcards then SHOULD be used in place of other types of learning? Just because some kids can learn from flashcards, does that suggest that they wouldn't learn just as well from being introduced to the material in other ways?
My quibble with flashcards is that earlier doesn't mean better. And because kids can learn with flashcards does not mean it is in their developmental interests to do so. As an OT I would argue that spending time on flash cards takes away time from more developmentally appropriate play.... I guess it falls in line with earlier doesn't equal better, just like more doesn't better better.

Quote:
And for the second sentence above, what age children is this research referencing? I only ask because I was under the impression that the OP was talking about babies and toddlers, and, in my experience, I have never met a baby who didn't like some repetition. Like a baby who has just learned peek-a-boo for example...I have never met one who learned it, and then was immediately bored with it and didn't want to repeat it even just a little bit. Just trying to clarify! Thanks!
Yup, and young children 0 - 6 basically.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Don't get hung up on the title. While it does address what flashcards do and don't work for, that's only part of the whole thing.

I'm also not getting what babies needing different patterns of eating and sleeping at different stages of physical development has to do with arguing against repetition for mental development. Both 6 and 7 month olds (and 1 month olds and 17 month olds) eat when hungry, sleep when tired (okay, maybe not the 17 month old), doing so at different times isn't really "change."
I didn't get it either.. but not quite as clearly as you didn't get it (no disrespect intended)

Quote:
I suspect that you're thinking in terms of older children. The book, and my take on this thread in general, is about kids under 6 years or so.
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by noordinaryspider View Post
Megan, thank you for starting this discussion. i have appreciated seeing the different perspectives. This is a fairly big issue in my life right now too.
Hi, yes I am enjoying this thread too :

Quote:
My healthy, happy, friendly, social seven month old is essentially toy-free and his development does not seem to be impaired by the fact that he plays with people instead of inanimate objects. Our family structure and lifestyle are quite nontraditional and i certainly wouldn't expect Terran to be blossoming so beautifully as far as going to work with me in the carrier if my job consisted of sitting at a computer for 8 hours straight every day, nor would i expect a dh who was paying all the bills so i could be a sahm to be...um...overly happy about my housecleaning and cooking standards, shall we say?.... but this is the life we have with the cards we have been dealt and i am very happy with what i am able to provide for my child.
This is what I kept getting back to, especially when Hillel was littler and not even remotely interested in "stuff" unless it was a loving gentle person.... but people would insist that he needs more tummy time, more time alone with a mobile, more toys... in short precisely things that I did not think were developmentally appropriate for a newborn / very young infant. Today at almost 7 months, he does enjoy sitting by himself playing with things and finally the child does not protest being on his tummy as he can get off by rolling over if he wants to!

Quote:
My older children were raised with more of society's norm of "educational"
TV, always discontent and nagging for new plastic toys, hopelessly cluttered house, Christmas a nightmare of bickering, pettiness, and power trips among the adults in their lives and all that other crap most people who will read this haven't lived through yet.
Eeeeek! This is pretty much what I would like to avoid - all of it if possible!!!

Quote:
I also found that the time I gained from having children who would "go to the other room and play with your toys now because we need to do big important things that grownups do when they get the children out from underfoot" was greatly overshadowed by all the time i had to spend pickintg up, organizing, cleaning, assembling, repairing, replacing and otherwise maintaining toys.
Again, something that I am not sure I want to invite into my life.... but I could be highly idealistic and unrealistic. For now I have kept toys at bay by just exchanging them.... but I see potential conflicts looming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
This is a great thread. I am going to move it out to parenting since it's not baby-specific. Hopefully, you'll get a whole bunch of new voices chiming in.
Thanks - I really was not sure where this thread fitted best.


Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
It's right here. I found it with my mad searching skillz.
I'll be looking that up - it looks good

Serenbat - I looked at your links and immediately recognised Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I love that book and have used it in my life. It is really awesome. I guess I am hesitant to apply what works for my adult brain to an infant brain. I would totally support this being part of art studies for adolescents, but am not sure that even a 7 - 9 year old would benefit in the same way that an adolescent/adult would. I am looking forward to any links you have on right/left brain and the infant or young child. Again, most of what I am writing is a hunch - this is the forum I am using to understand why I think the way I do about 0-6 year development. Interestingly, form the 0-3 website, I found a presentation citing that studies have found that early intervention does not = better.

Another thought I have been having.
When a study shows that children with flashcards learn to read earlier, why is it assumed that this is better?
I know that there are differences between rate of development between urban and rural children - with urban children learning at a faster rate when they are little. Does this mean that urban children grow up to be more intelligent, creative, sensitive, emotionally balanced people than rural children? I am not convinced. (I will now go and look for the link to this - it might take a while)

Thanks all for contributing and making this a wonderful thread :
post #37 of 91
I know that you have all been discussing this quite eloquently, I just wanted to add some links to back up everything you have been discussing.
If you're interested in child educational psychology the theorists you should think of Googling are Piaget, Bruner, Vygotsky, Bloom and Dewey. These guys researched how people (and in particular, babies and children) think and learn.

Quote:
Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was one of the most influential researchers in the area of developmental psychology during the 20th century. Piaget was originally trained in the areas of biology and philosophy. He was mainly interested in the biological influences on "how we come to know." He believed that what distinguishes human beings from other animals is our ability to do "abstract symbolic reasoning." Piaget's views are often compared with those of Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934), who looked more to social interaction as the primary source of cognition and behavior
Quote:
While working in Binet's IQ test lab in Paris, Piaget became interested in how children think. He noticed that young children's answers were qualitatively different than older children which suggested to him that the younger ones were not dumber (a quantitative position since as they got older and had more experiences they would get smarter) but, instead, answered the questions differently than their older peers because they thought differently
Here is an interesting link on stages of development.
It shows that young children use repitition to learn basic skills.

For those who dont follow links:

Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Reflexive Stage (0-2 months) Simple reflex activity such as grasping, sucking.

Primary Circular Reactions (2-4 months) Reflexive behaviors occur in stereotyped repetition such as opening and closing fingers repetitively.

Secondary Circular Reactions (4-8 months) Repetition of change actions to reproduce interesting consequences such as kicking one's feet to more a mobile suspended over the crib.

Coordination of Secondary Reactions (8-12 months) Responses become coordinated into more complex sequences. Actions take on an "intentional" character such as the infant reaches behind a screen to obtain a hidden object.

Tertiary Circular Reactions (12-18 months) Discovery of new ways to produce the same consequence or obtain the same goal such as the infant may pull a pillow toward him in an attempt to get a toy resting on it.

Invention of New Means Through Mental Combination (18-24 months) Evidence of an internal representational system. Symbolizing the problem-solving sequence before actually responding. Deferred imitation.


It doesn't matter if you have store bought toys or home made fun, babies tend to use the objects in the same way.
I think that most store bought toys have their hearts in the right place, I think they do try to stimulate baby brains.

What you need to do really is just interact with your child. If that means sitting with your child and reading flash cards or just lying on the grass and singing together, the point is that you're interacting with each other. This proves to be the common theme among all of the cognitive (ie. brain/thinking) theories listed above.
post #38 of 91
I think the absolutel bottom line of the OP's question is: No one knows exactly, no one knows the details, much of this stuff is a mystery and "how kids turn out" is an extremly complex and varied equation.

If we all knew something is "good for baby" or "bad for baby", the logic is we would make a rational choice and do the good thing (of course, life is not always that way either and our choices for our children are complex and multifactoral). But it is often unclear what is the "right" choice. Is repition good or bad? Does a little candy every once in a while enhance the social experience or degrade health? Is a sling really making a difference compared to a stroller? What is inherently the difference to a child of a wooden blocks vs. plastic legos? Who knows for sure? And, to make things more complicated, the answer may be different for every child. As you know, some babies HATE co-sleeping. It is too much for them and they like a little personal space. Others really need the closeness.

So, what is a parent to do? Personally, my answer is that I read up on what there is to read, then I go with my gut and what works for us. The process isn't perfect. And of course, we all disagree over things. But there IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY, and that is what makes it beautiful but also frustrating.

As to a rationale as to why you are making the parenting choices you are... well, I don't think anyone can explain that to you. It probably has to do with your own processesing of how you were raised (your own memories and prefereces), your parenting role models, your oppinions of groups of people around you (I agree with THIS person/group on so much, maybe they have a point about THIS aspect of parenting), and your general life philosophy. But, it doesn't inherently or automatically mean that others are wrong .

After 4 years of intensive parenting and thinking about a whole lot, I've come to the conclusion that we cannot compare parenting. We can share, we can talk, but that comapring is not useful and we can only become comfortable in our own skin.
post #39 of 91
We have always liked a lot of color in our home. My kids like color, and I tend to lean towards bright pretty things. But, I don't think kids need an expensive electronic toy to learn, when a set of magnets on the fridge would teach the same thing.

I am more of the "If they are dirty at the end of the day, it means they had a good day"

I will give a 12 month old paint, just like I give a four year old paint. Yes, they eat it. (once. it doesn't tast good) I turn on a heating tray to let them melt crayons on. Yes, they touch it and say "ow" then they learn that it's hot, but it makes these great pictures.

I let them (bigger kids) play with old tires in the yard. They move them, they fill them with water, they stack them, they learn how many kids it takes to roll them over to the fence, and how many kids it takes to stack them so they can look over the fence.

I let the babies paint with colored chalk mush on the block walls outside my house. But, they can't paint on the house, and even the 12 months olds know this.

BUT, at nap time, I let them watch TV. Late in the day when everybody else has gone home, I let the last child play with the computer.

We love Dora the explorer, I actually kinda like Caillou, and I miss Blues Clues and Gullah Gullah island.

I personally don't see any reason in keeping kids from all the cute characters and fun electronic toys. But, I don't think letting a healthy kid lie on the floor watching an hour of television is a good idea. (But, if they don't feel good, I will turn it on and leave it on the whole day if they want)

I don't follow the kids around to see what they are doing. I provide an enviroment that they can move freely and get glue, or crayons, on their own. I don't go outside with them unless it's hot out. I let them work out their own problems to an extent and will step in only if the argument is unfair to one child.

But, I have plastic toys. I have plastic furniture, and I love them. I wish I had a few more wood things though.

My infants either sit in a baby carrier until my back is too tired, then they go in a soft on the floor type carrier. I don't have things that move or vibrate, or swing. (mostly because the other kids can't leave the buttons alone) WHen they get older, they can sit in a walker. (YES! I WORSHIP THAT WALKER, SO DON'T EVEN TRY TO SAY THEY ARE BAD... THEY ARE WONDERFUL LITTLE BABY CONTAINERS!!*says a small prayer of thanks to the baby walker*)
post #40 of 91
OH... also..

SOme of the BEST money I ever spent on my own daughter was for a four year long Gymboree class. That class was the very best thing I could have done for my child. I could pass up on some of her other "planned Play" things, but Gymboree was a Godsend.
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