Today I just wanted to share some thoughts about parenting and the families that I work with. I’m a development specialist and work with about forty different families. I work in their homes with both parents and children. It is quite an incredible job to work with families in their own homes. Something that I am amazed by is the overwhelming love parents have for their children. I don’t have children of my own, yet, so I don’t have the same experience but it gives me have hope in humanity.
My purpose of going into these homes is to work with a specific child that has a diagnosis or developmental delay. My focus is their overall development; cognitive, language, social, and motor. When it comes down to it, parents always choose love and support of their child rather than meeting a developmental milestone. At times this may appear to be a problem, but mostly to me. That means I am focusing on the wrong thing. A child first and foremost should feel love and the best thing you can do for your child is love them and form a strong attachment. I’m in awe at how innate this is for parents. When it comes to tough meal time, or difficult bedtime, or tantrums at the grocery store, the love for their child always prevails.
For children to be in our program they have to be evaluated and receive a certain score to qualify. I’ve had many conversations with parents about how they didn’t know they should be doing puzzles with their 18 month old, or letting their one year old start to feed themselves. Parents get so concerned when they haven’t had exposure to some skills that come up on our tests, but in reality that is okay. You can always introduce a new skill, and if a child has a secure attachment and feels loved and support at home they can learn quickly.
Now, I’m not saying that you do everything for your child, because in the end you can’t. It is better to learn that lesson sooner than later. You shouldn’t always jump to rescue your little one when they get stuck, allow them to help themselves. Give your children space and opportunities to grow and learn. But, when it comes down to it, if your child doesn’t want to stack blocks today, or doesn’t want to sit and listen to a story, that is okay. As parents, just offer love and opportunities. Children will trust you and want to play.
I feel I have to say that sometimes children develop differently, and honestly if you feel there is a problem please don’t be afraid to ask for help. You have done nothing wrong and the sooner you get help the easier it will be for them to overcome any obstacles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into a home and they will admit that they have been worried for a while but figured their little one would outgrow their delay. Development is like steps, children don’t typically move onto another skill without completing the one before. If you need help please call your local school district and they will send you to the right professionals.
Spend some time today loving your little one, following their lead, and giving them a few opportunities to grow. These are really the ingredients to nurture your little sprout. Share with me your feelings on parenthood and the love for your little one.