'When do I potty train my child?' 'By when would he be able to say full sentences?' 'Is this the right age to enrol him in a preschool?
Am sure as parents we all have similar questions popping up every now and then on this exciting journey called parenthood!
As a mother to a 6 year old I would agree with all of you who would say that every child has his/her own pace of learning things and will eventually learn it all. Having said that I would like to mention that a child is never too young to learn some important lessons in life. If an adult communicated these messages to their child at an early age, they would eventually help the parent and the child in the long run. That's why I would like to call them my 'HANDY HELPERS!'
1. Concept of expiry date
When my son had broadly understood the concept of month and year, it was time to teach him something very important -the concept of expiry date. Yes you read it right!
Staying nuclear he almost always accompanied me for shopping at the supermarket. Once he noticed me checking the dates on all the items I picked up. Instant thought ran through my mind was- 'Ah! A perfect time to teach him the concept of expiry date' I simplified it for him stating that all packaged foods have a manufacturing date and are fit to consume till a particular date only and that date is called the 'expiry date'. One needs to always check expiry date before consuming anything packaged.
The very next week he was at my mom's house and she offered him some biscuits. Before even taking them he asked her 'are these expired?' It's an amusing sight when a relative or a friend offers him something. He would promptly ask for the expiry date and I would wait for the expression the adults face!
2. Narrating slice of life stories
Adversity and unexpected events can hit us at any time. One can't predict them but I found a way to prepare my son for the same. He loves listening to stories so I often narrate real life incidents. Have told him of the time when my grandmother was unwell and my parents had to leave my brother and me alone at home as they visited our native place. I noticed how eager and involved my son was as I took him to the flashback of my childhood days and how I managed it all alone.
Last year, when I was down with viral fever for almost a week, all I had to do was to recollect those stories and was very easy to manage him. He felt more responsible and was ready to cooperate as I lay in bed!
3. Introducing them to the Big Bad B word
We all are aware of the big bad B word. But some of us may not be aware that this unfortunate experience marks the childhood of close to half of all children when they are at school. It's never too early to create awareness in your child for the same. As my son turned six, I told him there will be all kinds of children and people around him. Some will try and scare him especially about something called a 'ghost' (a very common term used by kids at that age to scare their peers) Only a week later, I was surprised to hear that his friends were actually creating such stories in school. But I wasn't worried as my little one was ready to face it as his Mumma had already briefed him that there is no such thing as a ghost!
A sense of pride filled me as he questioned those kids, 'Have you seen them? My mumma says there is no scientific proof that they exist!' and left them speechless.
As parents each one of us can use these and similar HANDY HELPERS to make life simpler for both our children and us and prepare them for what life has to unfold for them as they grow.
Also read more about: 5 Tips For Potty Training
Explore the entire collection of articles: Toddler Learning
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