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Infant and Child development - long - Page 3

post #41 of 91
Marketing is one of the main reasons buy into the idea that babies need "stuff." My MIL kept trying to push the Baby Einstein DVDs on us when ds1 was a baby. Her argument? "He can see all the colors!" Um, yeah... because we live in a black and white house!

I'm very anti- battery operated, light-up, noisy, so-called "learning" toys. Why anyone thinks a canned digital, horrible rendition of Mozart squealing out of a garishly colored plastic box is somehow "educational" is beyond me. :
post #42 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
.My MIL kept trying to push the Baby Einstein DVDs on us when ds1 was a baby.
Those are kinda neat to have at Grandma's house though. I think my mom would have gone nuts without a copy of Babysongs and "Where's Spot" at her house when her grandkids were little. She would play and play with the kids, but then she'd beg them to watch a video.

Ya know what's weird though, ALL three of her grandkids had one favorite toy at her house....

The drink coasters. LOL. They would play for hours with the drink coasters when they were babies.
post #43 of 91
Awesome book:
Buy, Buy Baby: How Consumer Culture Manipulates Parents and Harms Young Minds
Read it if you can - my library has a copy. It makes me really, really mad to see how much money companies get out of parents by making them believe that babies need expensive stuff.

I do not think that babies need DVDs, noisy toys, or anything like that, and I think they do more harm than good in most cases.

I think babies do need stimulation, but appropriate stimulation for a baby, IMO, is being worn and watching what mom and dad do, and being spoken to by mom and dad. Good point from a pp that if you are a computer programmer, no, you don't just want your baby sitting there watching you do that all day. But I think wearing my baby while I do laundry, cooking (safely, of course, not over a hot stove), yardwork, shopping at the farmer's market etc. is great for her.

Other than being worn, I think babies as they get older also benefit from play time. I think the simpler the toy, the better. The beepy ones are, as another pp mentioned, so one-dimensional. Blocks, spoons, bowls, cups, pots and pans, rocks, sticks... my baby has much more fun with these than with anything fancy. And I think they are just stimulating enough, without being over-stimulating or numbing - just like sitting and watching TV or sufing the internet is entertaining and gets your attention and can keep it but isn't necessarily good for you, I think those beepy toys and DVDs can grab the baby's attention but not necessarily stimulate their brains in the best way. I think they shorten attention spans, make babies crabbier, and decrease their ability to play creatively.

Now, I will say, I DO own some such toys and will watch tv with my now-toddler on occasion. But I use the toys and tv as TOOLS to do something, not because I think it's good for her. I will put on the tv, for example, when I need to give her a nebulizer treatment if her asthma is bad, because it keeps her still. Or I will let her play with her electronic piano if I HAVE to get some computer work done on a deadline. So I use them for *me* so that I can get what I want accomplished, not because they are essential to her development.

To the poster who said that repetition is boring to babies - wow, are you serious? My little one will ask for the same book over and over and over and over. Last night she entertained herself for like 10 minutes in the bathtub dropping a bath crayon through a rubber kitchen funnel that I gave her to play with in the bath. You could just see the little gears in her brain turning as she was figuring out the cause and effect.

And as she gets bigger, her greatest thrill is when I let her help me with something. She would 100 times rather hand me the utensils, one by one, from the dishwasher, or sweep with her little broom next to me than play by herself with a beepy toy. She will get excited for a new toy for about 10 minutes, but after she sees how it works, the thrill is gone. So far she never gets tired of helping me with the chores.
post #44 of 91
"The root of all emotional feeling is in the brain stem. It takes nearly one and a half years for a child to learn how to control her feelings. How well she does this depends solely on the parents. "

(bolding mine)

No pressure there!

Actually, temperment has a lot to do with it as well.
post #45 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmama2AJ View Post
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.

Here is an interesting link on stages of development.
It shows that young children use repitition to learn basic skills.
I am going to get into all of this more with time and read up on the people you mentioned, as well as others I am sure! I am inclined to think the information is there and people are using it, and sometimes drawing conclusions that I would not draw!

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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.
Thanks

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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.
This is where my husband stands on the issue.... DS will use everything in the same way, why get excited about whether it is an object form our kitchen or an object designed to entertain a baby? I guess I get passionate, as I do not see the baby toy manufacturers as actually meeting the developmental needs - and claiming to meet the developmental needs - and then parents think that they have to have something that costs lots of money or there child will surely be disadvantaged. I find this sad, as it just is not true. Parents have enough to feel guilty about without feeling like their child is being deprived or opportunity by not having x, y and z.

When you say that the toys try to stimulate the brain, are you talking about stimulating cognitive development ie get a brighter baby?

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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.
Bolded part: YES! singing and flashcards being the same kind of activity: not how I see things, but I can understand others seeing this.

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Originally Posted by alexsam View Post
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.
Yes, and no. My question has something to do with development and how can I as a parent best meet my child's developmental needs... what are his developmental needs? And how does this translate into the choices I make for which types of objects he interacts with, and how many etc....

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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.
This is true, hopefully we would be making rational choices, but not every choice can be made rationally - there are just too many factors to be taken into consideration
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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?
This is what it comes down to.... and trying to find the tools to make an informed decision - taking all the factors into consideration.

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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.
This I do not think is development related, but personality related.... and of course requires an individual approach so as to meet the specific child's needs.

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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.
I guess it depends who the parents are.... I go with a gut feeling and then read up, other parents do EXACTLY what their doctor tells them to do, or their parents or whoever. It is very unique for everyone. And of course there is no right way for each family ad each child in every single culture.... but I am inclined to think there are basic principles that apply to how children develop in their cognitive skills, emotional skills, social skills, volition (although this is really tough to look at), etc

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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.
I'm not sure I was asking anyone to do that. I was asking people to share and through this allow me to understand what I am thinking more clearly - nothing like a difference of opinion to clarify the issue (for me anyway).... and also I was hoping I might learn something - which of course I am.
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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 .
I would agree that my parenting choices are based a lot on how I was brought up (although not as much as I would have thought) and I like your idea about my opinions of groups, I am going to think about that some more. Did you feel like I was implying that other people are wrong?
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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.
Agreed! That is just not productive and could lead to guilt and competition and all sorts of nasty stuff. However, I do not think I would ever do that and would want to be called on that if somehow I had. I am wanting to understand why I am making the decision I am and bounce ideas around about possible different choices that I had not thought of.

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Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
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.
Sounds like fun!
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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.
These are your choices, and I guess it is obvious that I might not make the same choices, although I might - not being a parent to older children I have no idea how this will all come together.
However, I feel I must say, that this is not totally relevant to the thread on infant and young child development... or am I missing something?

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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)
Again, this is the way my husband is inclined to think, and not actaully being there, I cannot comment.... again, not sure where this fits in with developmental needs of infants and young children.
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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.
OK, are we talking about parenting philosophy?
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But, I have plastic toys. I have plastic furniture, and I love them. I wish I had a few more wood things though.
Again, I am not sure why this is being posted.... Plastic toys is a whole other huge debate. Which I am sure has been debated in other threads a TON!
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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*)
I do not want to be snarky, but as I have read through this post, I have realised that what I was wanting to address in this thread was child development and what developmental needs are - not parenting choices and where do you stand on the continuum.
Regarding Walkers - that is your choice. Not one that I would make. I do not think it could be argued as being a developmentally appropriate object - meeting a need for a parent, but not meeting an infants need. Although I may have missed something here too.


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Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
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.
What do you think was so special about these classes? What did you get from them?

I hope this thread can stay on track being a thread about developmental needs of infants and young children from a cognitive, emotional, social etc point of view and not become a debate on parenting choices/philosophies!

Thanks
post #46 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmk1 View Post
I think incorporating a baby into your daily routine is great. However, consider that when humans were evolving, the daily routine meant going to gather foods, constructing shelters, making clothes (from plants, animals, etc), going on hunts, socializing around the campfire. You can see that there would be a lot of stimulation there. But what is our life today? Personally, I'm a computer programmer...how much stimulation does my baby get from watching me type on a keyboard for 8 hours or more? Mostly we have moved away from physical work where there is something for the baby to observe. And for those that still work with their hands, as in construction, is that really a safe place for baby? I think my baby needs more stimulation than what my lifestyle can provide.
You can still do these things, just not on the large scale our ancestors did!

Gathering food=Going to the grocery store and let your little one pick out some fruits or veggies. Let them carry a banana around in the store. I get "cheap potatoes" or a bag of green ones and let my boys play with them. They love playing with those darn potatoes

Constructing shelter: Set up a small tent in your living room, or create a makeshift tent out of sheets, chairs, and the coffee table.

Going on hunts= Go outside in your yard and "hunt" for bugs, caterpillars, worms, etc etc. It's great fun to watch a 3yo try to catch lightning bugs in the summer.

Socializing around the campfire=The modern dinner table *GASP* does anyone actually sit down and eat dinner together anymore? I know most on MDC do, but this is so simple and should really be a part of every family's day at least once a day. Better yet, if you're in an area that allows for one, why not have a campfire? Even most city and suburban areas will allow a small, contained fire if you have a permit from the fire dept.

What about a vegetable garden as an example of physical work? We did our largest yet this summer and our boys (3 and 2) immediately wanted to join in on taking care of it. They would fight over who got to water it. We taught them how to pull weeds, our 3yo loved to pick the cucumbers and put them in the bucket. We took them out to their grandparents house in the country and we brought them along on our black raspberry harvesting. I was so impressed and amazed at how intently they looked for those shiny black berries and how focused they were on the task. We also took them strawberry picking at a U-pick farm-TONS of kids there doing the same thing.

So you see, there are plenty of ways to re-create these avenues of stimulation for our children, even in the modern world.
post #47 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ema-adama View Post
What do you think was so special about these classes? What did you get from them?
For my dd, I was given a free month as a baby shower gift. We waited til she was fifteen months old. Unfortunately the week before she was to start, she broke her leg. I went ahead and took her anyway.

She was the only kid crawling (because of the cast) Other kids brought bubbles and toys to her. They stopped the teeter totter to let her get on.

We stayed for four years, and in that four years she made some the best friends she will ever have. There is a small group of six kids (two boys, four girls) that she has been friends with most of her life. Two of them go to her high school, one of them is in her church small group class, two of the girls are in dance with her.

The class singles each child out during parachute time. The kids take a turn going in the middle of the parachute and the grownups sing a song about that child while he or she pops the bubbles that are just for him or her.

They learned to take turns, help, cooperate, great music, movement activities. They tried things that might have been scary in another situation. Kids who don't have things to climb on got to get some of that monkeyness out of their system for an hour one day a week.

I learned new things too. I still use a lot of what I learned in Gymboree in my daycare.

Anyway, those are really good memories for both of us.
post #48 of 91
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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.

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.

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.


I hate this so much. I hate picking up their playroom, I hate all the toys in there that they don't play with. And I am already guilty of saying "Go in your playroom for a while, Mommy needs to do XYZ" And then they cry and whine because they don't want to play with their stupid toys they want to play with ME. We have SO MUCH STUFF in there, and they play with some things, but certainly not all of it. We've been gifted with all of these annoying things, one of them was this Leap Frog toy that spun around and said the alphabet and the names of different animals. They would keep spinning it just to make it make noise, they weren't learning anything from it. My MIL, who is WONDERFUL at choosing toys and books, recently sent us a toy she picked up in Prague. It's a wooden kinetic hedgehog that goes down a little wooden ramp. It's tricky to get it to work, especially for small hands. But 2 year old Henri went NUTS when he saw it because she had sent us a book some months ago that had a hedgehog in it, and he's one of Henri's favorite characters in that book. All these fancy, brightly-colored, crazy things and Henri loves the wooden hedgehog. I think if you are going to do toys, keep them very simple. This scenario has repeated itself many times over in this house. My kids always go for the simpler toys, or the pots and pans.
post #49 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ema-adama View Post
I do not want to be snarky, but as I have read through this post, I have realised that what I was wanting to address in this thread was child development and what developmental needs are -

What I should have said is this is a pre-school. Not my own kids. But, developmentally, being in a walker allows them to be with the kids at circle time, or lunch time. They are part of our group, and they need to be on their level when I can allow it. The walker gives them a special new veiw. The kids love that walker. They like the freedom, they like being able to put their feet on the floor, they jump, they stand, and eventually walk and run in them. (at which point I get tired of having my toes run over and put it away)

The baby carriers are so I can hold them and still have my hands free. That allows them to be with me, and therefore are interacting with me, or the other kids, depending on wich way she is facing. But, she is not within reach of the child who want to "give" her hard toys. (from three feet away)

The baby containers are not developmental at all. It's not a "choice" either. I need to put them down sometimes.

I'd love to be able to put a baby on the floor, but I don't feel safe with other kids around. There is a lot of development that goes on, on the floor. That's where babies learn a lot of what they need. They learn to hold their heads up to look around, they do the "airplane" thing, they stretch, watch what's going on around them, Reach for toys..etc.
post #50 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Marketing is one of the main reasons buy into the idea that babies need "stuff." My MIL kept trying to push the Baby Einstein DVDs on us when ds1 was a baby. Her argument? "He can see all the colors!" Um, yeah... because we live in a black and white house!

I'm very anti- battery operated, light-up, noisy, so-called "learning" toys. Why anyone thinks a canned digital, horrible rendition of Mozart squealing out of a garishly colored plastic box is somehow "educational" is beyond me. :
Pretty much how I see it!!!


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Originally Posted by cotopaxi View Post
Awesome book:
Buy, Buy Baby: How Consumer Culture Manipulates Parents and Harms Young Minds
Read it if you can - my library has a copy. It makes me really, really mad to see how much money companies get out of parents by making them believe that babies need expensive stuff.

I do not think that babies need DVDs, noisy toys, or anything like that, and I think they do more harm than good in most cases.
:

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Now, I will say, I DO own some such toys and will watch tv with my now-toddler on occasion. But I use the toys and tv as TOOLS to do something, not because I think it's good for her. I will put on the tv, for example, when I need to give her a nebulizer treatment if her asthma is bad, because it keeps her still. Or I will let her play with her electronic piano if I HAVE to get some computer work done on a deadline. So I use them for *me* so that I can get what I want accomplished, not because they are essential to her development.
This makes so much sense to me.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post
"The root of all emotional feeling is in the brain stem. It takes nearly one and a half years for a child to learn how to control her feelings. How well she does this depends solely on the parents. "

(bolding mine)

No pressure there!

Actually, temperment has a lot to do with it as well.
Of course. What I found interesting is that moderating emotions is not something you would expect of a child younger than 18 months. I would disagree with the word 'solely', but I think caregivers have some part to play.

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Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
You can still do these things, just not on the large scale our ancestors did!
Again, makes sense to me.

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Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
They learned to take turns, help, cooperate, great music, movement activities. They tried things that might have been scary in another situation. Kids who don't have things to climb on got to get some of that monkeyness out of their system for an hour one day a week.

I learned new things too. I still use a lot of what I learned in Gymboree in my daycare.

Anyway, those are really good memories for both of us.
I can see the benefits you are mentioning. And the relationships built are precious and cannot be taken away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
What I should have said is this is a pre-school. Not my own kids. But, developmentally, being in a walker allows them to be with the kids at circle time, or lunch time. They are part of our group, and they need to be on their level when I can allow it. The walker gives them a special new veiw. The kids love that walker. They like the freedom, they like being able to put their feet on the floor, they jump, they stand, and eventually walk and run in them. (at which point I get tired of having my toes run over and put it away)
Looking at this solely from a developmental needs aspect, I am not sure the pre school programme is addressing children's developmental needs if a walker is required for the child to interact. If a child is developing 'normally', they will sit and stand when they are ready. Obviously the programme has the very best intentions. I would not be comfortable having my child put in a walker for any reason

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The baby containers are not developmental at all. It's not a "choice" either. I need to put them down sometimes.

I'd love to be able to put a baby on the floor, but I don't feel safe with other kids around. There is a lot of development that goes on, on the floor. That's where babies learn a lot of what they need. They learn to hold their heads up to look around, they do the "airplane" thing, they stretch, watch what's going on around them, Reach for toys..etc.
This again, is not a choice I would make. I do not have other children running around and so for now I do not have this concern. Now that DS is happy to sit or lie on the floor is GREAT for me, especially as he is around 25 lb and he gets heavy! When I have more kids running around and a baby in the house I will have to think of how to address this concern.... I think people have been doing it for centuries without walkers, so it must be possible. I do feel I need to say that the decision you make is your decision and of course you do not need to defend it. I just would not make that same choice
post #51 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ema-adama View Post
I would not be comfortable having my child put in a walker for any reason.
*Not trying to go off in the wrong direction, so steer me back if this is not where we should be headed, but I just wanted to ask you about the "walker" issue. Especially with your background as an OT. Do you mean you wouldn't want your child in an actual walker with wheels (the con perhaps being something like mobility before the child has developmentally mastered walking) or do you mean any kind of stander/holder like a stander toy or Bumbo seat (the con being something like putting baby in a set position that they can do alone, but might not choose to do for as long as they will if put in a stander and surrounded by toys to keep them busy for a while)?

I will admit that we do have a stander toy that I put Molly in from time to time when I can't wear her well (cooking is pretty much it), but I can't leave her on the floor safely due to big brother being around. Though I will acknowledge that these toys didn't exist for almost the entire rest of history and somehow those moms did just fine.

Also, one random thought with child development that I often find myself coming to is that, it is a relatively new thing (in terms of all of human kind) that mothers are alone in their "homes" with their babies and young children. We all used to live much more communally...every culture that I have ever studied was, at one time, much more of a "village raising a child" mentality then in our current society, when either one solitary parent is home alone with a child, or a day care, is supposed to provide for the developmental needs of a child. I bring this up, in some ways, with regards to my stander question above. Part of the reason that other mothers of the past didn't need standers is that there were other community members (aunts, sisters, friends) who would be around to help with the children, while the people who cooked were over the fire. I am home alone, and so I must do both the cooking alone, and provide for my children's development alone. So certain things happen...like the stander.

**I think I may have gone too far off on a tangent with all this...sorry!
post #52 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetobemama View Post
*Not trying to go off in the wrong direction, so steer me back if this is not where we should be headed, but I just wanted to ask you about the "walker" issue. Especially with your background as an OT. Do you mean you wouldn't want your child in an actual walker with wheels (the con perhaps being something like mobility before the child has developmentally mastered walking) or do you mean any kind of stander/holder like a stander toy or Bumbo seat (the con being something like putting baby in a set position that they can do alone, but might not choose to do for as long as they will if put in a stander and surrounded by toys to keep them busy for a while)?
The walkers that I know are suspended seats in a frame on wheels with a tray area to put toys. So,I am not familiar with what a stander toy or Bumbo seat are.

But, the way I am thinking is that for motor development you see two broad directions of development. From the head down, ie a baby can lift and move / control his head before he can lift his chest, before he can push his torso up off the ground, before he can crawl, followed by walking.
Then you also have development moving from the torso outward. Only with the stability of the torso can you have the controlled mobility of the arms and legs.

So, putting a child in something that supports their torso while they use their legs is a short cut and from what I remember actually delays walking. I have even read of it confusing children as they can't see their feet and miss that it is themselves causing the movement..... I personally just find it unappealing to constrain a child exploring.

BUT, I only have one child and he can be on the floor safely.

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Also, one random thought with child development that I often find myself coming to is that, it is a relatively new thing (in terms of all of human kind) that mothers are alone in their "homes" with their babies and young children. We all used to live much more communally...every culture that I have ever studied was, at one time, much more of a "village raising a child" mentality then in our current society, when either one solitary parent is home alone with a child, or a day care, is supposed to provide for the developmental needs of a child. I bring this up, in some ways, with regards to my stander question above. Part of the reason that other mothers of the past didn't need standers is that there were other community members (aunts, sisters, friends) who would be around to help with the children, while the people who cooked were over the fire. I am home alone, and so I must do both the cooking alone, and provide for my children's development alone. So certain things happen...like the stander.
Now this is something that I had not thought of. And of course this makes sense. Stander is replacing our extended family - which is a bit of a sad commentary on our society.I would guess that in your situation you are between a rock and a hard place with a toddler and an infant and no human support when getting chores done. I would agree that time in the stander is preferable to be trampled on.

In the USA do people use play pens? Here in Israel it is very popular.... although I am resisting owning one - but I guess only time will tell

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**I think I may have gone too far off on a tangent with all this...sorry!
Well, I do find this interesting. And it helped me clarify why I wouldn't put DS in a walker. I did not know about standers. I know that in rehab we put people in standers to provide weight bearing through the legs when there are problems with muscle tone or strength. I also have a friend who has a son just over 1 with CP, and they are using a walking frame to help him.... my tangents.
I guess my bottom line is that it is not developmentally appropriate, but modern parenting does require solutions that might not put a child's developmental needs first. (and in NO way am I suggesting you or any other parent are a bad parent for doing this. Again, I think it is a poor reflection of our society that raising a family is such a fraught and close to impossible feat.)

I hope that clarifies and in no way offends. I really would like to keep this discussion going as I always learn so much
post #53 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
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.
I have been thinking about this some more. Before I share my thoughts I am going to say that I have been known to get wild ideas into my head that can be refuted in a milli second. This is not something that I have read anywhere - but an idea I had.

When Piaget gave his stages of cognitive development it gave parents, educators, therapists and whoever was interested, tools to understand what you can expect cognitively from a baby, toddler, child etc.

What I do not understand is why this has been translated into "I have to stimulate my babies cognitive development".

When I look at DS, I see a baby who loves people, shady trees, our dog and cat, anything that is in my hand and he just adores being swung and tickled on his tummy and have raspberries blown at him. He hates being dressed and can zone out in front of a TV screen. What am I trying to say? He seems to need things other than cognitive stimulation.
So, I am wondering if anyone knows anything about stages or development and at different ages/stages different aspects of the person are in the limelight so to speak. Like maybe a babies major developmental needs are making firm and strong connections with the people in his environment (and cognitive development happened parallel, but is not the most important aspect of overall development at this stage.

As I am writing this I remember Erik Erikson and his psychosocial stages of development with Trust versus Distrust being the first conflict (can't remember the word he used). That babies are learning whether their environment is a trustworthy place (ie consistent care and loving responses) or not.

I am just wondering if within the physical, emotional, cognitive and social developmental aspects of the person, you can find elements for each within any activity, with more or less of an emphasis depending on the age of the baby/child.

I think I am loosing even myself here. Essentially I am trying to say that I think babies need to be loved and snuggled and responded to when they are babies. The cognitive development will happen and should not be the most focal issue when choosing how to interact with a baby... I see my MIL having absolutely no trust in her ability to be enough for my DS. She thinks he has to have a stroller, a toy, a pacifier - ANYTHING other than her. And this makes me sad as a) I can't rely on her to look after DS as he is left crying in his stroller or on the floor as this is thought to be fine and b) She really could have such a wonderful relationship with him if she just put all the crap down and sang to him and read to him or somehow interacted with him on a personal level.
And, yet again, she thinks that a mobile cranking out canned music and flashing lights at DS is the preferred option over a warm, loving person. It just seems bizarre to me. But perhaps I am just way way out and missing something.
post #54 of 91
Re: walkers/standers - Yes, we do also have playpens in the U.S. I preferred them when I needed to put dd in a safe place since at least she's not in an unnatural position... however, sometimes she would fuss in there vs. in the stander (like a walker, just stationary, and usually with lots of toys to play with) with all the entertaining toys, so that was something I used. Usually about 10 minutes every other day, while I showered if DH was unavailable to watch her, from about 5-8 months.
post #55 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ema-adama View Post
When Piaget gave his stages of cognitive development it gave parents, educators, therapists and whoever was interested, tools to understand what you can expect cognitively from a baby, toddler, child etc.

What I do not understand is why this has been translated into "I have to stimulate my babies cognitive development".
Piaget couldn't understand it either. Whenever he lectured American audiences, parents would ask about how they could stimulate their child to speed up the stages for their child. He got asked this question so often that he called it "the American question."

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/elkind.htm
post #56 of 91
I see...and I am TOTALLY with you on the walker thing. And as far as your observation that the use of the stander is really just a sad commentary on where we are in society right now...ITA!!! If I wasn't home alone in this house all day (we get out all the time, actually, but it is still just me with the 2 LO's) DD would never be in the stander, she would be held by some other loving person, or playing with things that she can manipluate herself.


I think part of the main issue here is the idea of 1. "teaching" your baby as if there are developmental lessons they must somehow be taught because they otherwise might not learn them, and 2. the idea of "toys" being distinct items soley for playing and learning.

Both of these issues are ones that I largely reject, BTW.
post #57 of 91
Two books that haven't been mentioned that you would probably find a good read:

What's going on in there? How the Mind and Brain Develop in the First Five Years
by Lise Eliot

Building Healthy Minds: The Six Experiences That Create Intelligence and Emotional Growth in Babies and Young Children by Greenspan et al.

The first is a very brain oriented book, the second focused on emotional development and stages of emotional development. They're a nice complement to the Piagetian view of things. Piaget focused very much on cognitive development, and so there's a lot of social development left out. And his work is nearly 100 years old, so we know a LOT more about the brain.

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.
Note, however, that the point of "Einstein Never Used Flashcards" is actually much less about flashcards and more of an indictment of the whole "educational" toy market. Their whole point is that the natural world is provides a ton of stimulation, and that the everyday activities that you do provide many, many natural learning opportunities.

Because many everyday activities are by their nature repetitive (how many times a week do you make meals, do laundry, turn off light switches, pick up toys...?), there can be learning through repetition in daily life too. If your kids learn from flashcards, great! But you don't NEED to buy flashcards. And alas, many parents are marketed into flashcards because they think that their kids need flashcards to "get ahead".

Reading adds a whole new level of complexity too. Dd (who is 4) is desperate to be just like her older brother (7) and do "homework". I bought her a workbook to do while he does his homework. It was the most environmentally friendly thing I could do. We were printing off tons of on-line cr*p.

Uh-oh, said dd has just woken, not good. I'll be back to talk more about toys...
post #58 of 91
Back to toys..

As for toys, I'm very much "everything in moderation" kind of person. In fact, my kids favorite toys are: Bruder Trucks and Playmobil. Neither are wood. But, my kids love the detail and their ability to reenact the life that they see around them.

Ds is an intensely detail oriented child. Wood garbage trucks/fire trucks/buses don't have the same play value for him because they lack the realistic detail that he NEEDS. The Bruder trucks (and his Playmobil bus) fill that need for him.

Dd loves the size and details with the Playmobil people. She's very much into scripting conversations/activities for the people. She could do that with cloth/wood dolls that she has, but she chooses the playmobil people over and over again.

The one thing that both of these kinds of toys have in common is that they are OPEN-ENDED. I think that toys that allow for open-ended play are essential for child development. Wood toys, by their very nature, tend to allow that more. But plastic toys can too. The question my mother always asked about toys was: What will the child do with it? If it only has one "purpose", it's probably a bad toy, no matter what it's made of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noordinaryspider View Post
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.
But, how much of this is temperament? His stage of development?

We have a very reserved child who needs (a) to observe a lot and (b) to act out (using toys and props) what he has experienced. This helps him make sense of the world. He also uses toys to break the ice in terms of playing with other children. He was an OBJECT-FOCUSED child. I didn't raise him in an environment where I kept pushing objects on him. It's what HE sought out.

We have another very social child who would probably be fine without any/many toys. And yet, her toys also help her make sense of the world. She uses them to set up social situations and to try out, in the privacy of her own imaginative world, different responses to social situations she's encountering in her own life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noordinaryspider View Post
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.
You know, it's possible to have Christmas without that. Maybe it's because we only have 2. Maybe it's because we focus on the religious aspect in addition to the gifts. But mostly, I think it's because the adults in their lives are kind, caring and respectful. Not ONE of their relatives has ever brought up the "good kids get presents" stuff or used Christmas as a power trip. Christmas is a time for sharing gifts and TIME with those you love. (And that's the sentiment among the whole extended family, not just our nuclear family.)

OK and finally, TV:
Both of my kids are highly imaginative kids. They rarely lack for things to do/play. (And when they do, it's usually a sign they are tired.) They also watch a limited amount of TV and play some computer games. Again, this is an "everything in moderation" kind of stance. They watch PBS/Noggin, not because it's educational, but because it's content I feel comfortable with.

I sometimes like to veg out in front of a screen, why shouldn't my kids be able to do the same when they're old enough (i.e. over 2)?
post #59 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASusan View Post
Piaget couldn't understand it either. Whenever he lectured American audiences, parents would ask about how they could stimulate their child to speed up the stages for their child. He got asked this question so often that he called it "the American question."

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/elkind.htm
Well, I am getting better at looking up links - and I loved this link! I am quoting a bit of it here.

Quote:
Researchers, however, were reluctant to leave it at that. They undertook a whole series of investigations to determine whether a child's progress through the Piagetian stages could be accelerated by training. By and large the results were negative. In general, the effects of training vary with the child's developmental level. Although training has some positive effects at all age levels, older children make more progress with considerably less training than younger children. Most children who are living in a "normal expectable environment" receive sufficient stimulation to realize their intellectual potential.
But the whole article is wonderful, about meeting a child's individual developmental needs (here I would go on to say that only a parent/caregiver who is observing their child carefully would know what the developmental need is - definitely not a toy manufacturer. Although to be fair, a parent chooses which toy to introduce when).

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetobemama View Post
I see...and I am TOTALLY with you on the walker thing. And as far as your observation that the use of the stander is really just a sad commentary on where we are in society right now...ITA!!! If I wasn't home alone in this house all day (we get out all the time, actually, but it is still just me with the 2 LO's) DD would never be in the stander, she would be held by some other loving person, or playing with things that she can manipluate herself.


I think part of the main issue here is the idea of 1. "teaching" your baby as if there are developmental lessons they must somehow be taught because they otherwise might not learn them, and 2. the idea of "toys" being distinct items soley for playing and learning.

Both of these issues are ones that I largely reject, BTW.
I am glad I am making sense to someone other than myself and I totally agree with the two issues that you highlighted..... now I just need to go and lobby and lobby and lobby to get mums the help they need - the social structures they need! Although that will happen a bit later in my life
post #60 of 91
Sorry this going to be a non sequitur as I haven't fully read the thread .

Maybe someone has mentioned this, but orangutan babies stay in close physical contact with their mothers for 8 years. I don't see how an orangutan could possibly need more than a human baby! Like modern human society, orangutans' social structure is a small family unit, not a larger village like society. Anyway, just an interesting tidbit that seemed relevant.
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