Stimulation and the enriched environment

With a title like this it can only mean that I am feeling very insecure about my choices and I have been doing some digging to make me feel better about my choice and why it is the best one for me and my family.

My aquaintance from the local funky mamas has started her son (2 days older than DS) in a kindy type set up – I don’t know what the term is, as play group seems to be when the mothers are present and this is mom-free. She is raving about it and I think would love for my DS to be part of the group. It’s all open ended toys, organic whole foods type of parents. So it could be my kind of thing…. BUT

For a 14 month old? This mum described how a day was organised for the children where people dressed up in costumes from different cultures and served food from that culture and it sounds amazing. But for a 14 month old? What on earth would that mean to my DS? What tools does he have to decode that experience and make sense of it?

I am also aware that I have a different approach to stimulation than many people around me. I do not feel comfortable pointing things out to DS. A bit like I do not feel comfortable coaching him to say words. What I do feel comfortable with is answering his quesitons. He has taken to pointing at things and touching things while looking at me as if to say “and this? what is this?”. He does say something that sounds like “et zeh” which would mean “this” in English when he points to things. He also says ‘ptzzz’ to things. Anyway, when he points to things, I do find myself naming the thing he is pointing to. It feels right and for now I am going with what feels right. As a reminder to myself – there is no need to worry about DS’s development until a problem is spotted. Then there are many professionals who know how to help, should we need their help.

My best solution so far. Provide a nurturing environment and let DS choose how to interact with it. I certainly do not have a firm enough grasp on every aspect of child development to be 100% confident that I know more about what my DS needs to be doing than he does. I see my role as providing the environment and the support and letting him do the rest. And he loves immitating me sweeping, raking, vacuuming, stirring, clapping, etc. My gut tells me this is enough for now. (Although more of a structured rhythm would be nice – slowly slowly I’ll get there)

And I am guessing that this environment will not be provided in a kindy for 14 months olds. The temptation to teach something would be too huge. And there is time enough later for DS to be formally instructed.

I am wanting to find a solution for DS to be in regular contact with a group of children/parents. I do not feel comfortable with me and DH being his primary sources for socialization….. hmmmm

More like it :)

More like it 🙂



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2 responses to “Stimulation and the enriched environment

  1. I have to say the idea that dressing up in different costumes would mean anything to a 14 month old made me laugh out loud. That’s the kind of thing an 8 or 9 or 10 year old would get something out of, but surely at 14 months he wouldn’t even notice. And I think at this stage the only things that matter are rhythm, stability, repetition… all that boring stuff.

  2. Emily

    Wow Megan! I love this post! The clarity with which you are able to visualize the dichotomy in your life right now is so VIVID!!! I love the two images of yourself, and the journey with being drawn to each at different times.

    I hope that the beautiful woman embracing life/nature/beauty/womanhood finds a way to command greater respect, because she sure deserves it!!!


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