My friend Meghann is an amazing mom! She is always coming up with ways to involve her son in everything she does. She has recently been doing a lot of reading focused on the importance of routine in a child’s life and the ability to feel confident in the things that are going on around them. She recommended a great book called “Bright from the Start” by Jill Stahm., who has a PH. D in Learning and Instructional Technology focusing on how people learn. Stahm is also the mother of two, the oldest whom was born four months early and has struggled with different physical and mental disabilities because of it. All of this experience gives her an amazing perspective and I love the passion that she authors with! She talks about the importance of teaching children and providing a loving environment early because these early brain patterns are resistant to change. Stahm discusses how parents can help wire a healthy brain by:
- spending one on one time loving your child
- playing with your child
- responding quickly and predictably to your child
- touching and cuddling your child
- providing routines that establish patterns of caring response
- talking to your child
- reading and singing to your child
I love this list and have definitely thought about a few of the points that I need to work on with my son. I have really been enjoying this book, especially all of the scientific research it shares. Meghann, who recommended it, has implemented a kids planner and grocery list into her son’s routine that are helping him learn as well as feel more secure with the things that are going on around him. I love her idea of making a big felt board day planner with pictures for him to know what is going on. Every morning they get the right pictures out corresponding to what they are going to do that day and put them in the right spots.
The day of the week is at the top and the board is split into Morning, Afternoon, and Night. She has pictures of him going to the store, a picture of him going on a walk in the stroller, and pictures of the pool.
She even prints out pictures of his friends who he will be with that day (keeping them for future use as well). This day we came over so she put up a picture of my little guy!
The next project she did was to make a picture grocery list for Brogan to hold and look at when they are at the store. All she did was cut out the actual pictures of items the frequently buy at the store. She punched a hole in each one and put them on a key ring. Now when they are in the store, Brogan can match the things that they are buying with the pictures on his list. This not only gives him something fun to do while shopping (what mom doesn’t need THAT?!), it also helps him associate the words and letters on the boxes with the food they are associated with.
She said she just puts her little key ring right next to her car keys so she won’t forget them. Didn’t I tell you she was a pretty amazing mom?!
I am so excited to focus more on the things I am doing with my son and how they are affecting his early brain development. What messages am I sending? Just goes to show how important a parent’s job is!!!