I felt pressure to constantly be “stimulating” them with black and white pictures, or the correct toys, playing classical music, and at one point, I even seriously researched the “teach your baby to read” program! It was up to me to make sure I gave these girls every chance in life, starting from infancy.
It didn’t quite feel right, though. I couldn’t just relax and enjoy a quiet playtime, it was always focused on me asking “how can I teach them something”? I was without answers, but with feelings of guilt.
Then I stumbled onto an article from writer Janet Lansbury and an idea from child development expert Magda Gerber, who said, “Do Less, Observe More, Enjoy Most!”
This became our mantra. I stopped worrying about making sure my babies were prepped for early reading (I know, ridiculous!) or feeling like I wasn’t doing a good enough job as a mother. Instead, I sat on the floor with them and ooo’d, aww’d, and coo’d right along with them.
Playtime became just that: a time of play. It was child-directed, as in whatever they were interested in was what they did, and I sat close by and observed and commented and enjoyed their blossoming development. Since then, we’ve made a point of fostering their ability to enjoy self-directed play with me and my husband as happy observers, reveling in how clever, perceptive, creative, and beautiful they are all on their own.
More inspiring quotes from Magda Gerber:
“Allow the child to be authentic, to move, to feel the way they move, appreciating them for what they are.”
“Focus on quality and ease of movement, not on the age a milestone is accomplished.”
“Let the child be the scriptwriter, the director and the actor in his own play.”
Megan Kimmelshue, Author of The Boho Mama
Megan lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and their toddler twin daughters, Ruthie and Afton, and was first introduced to attachment parenting after buying Dr. Sears’ Baby Book when newly pregnant. She wanted to know more, and more she found! She is continually inspired by the wonderful and wise community of gentle parents found on the internet. You can find her at The Boho Mama, writing about the joys and challenges of motherhood, extended breastfeeding, daily adventures (usually food or coffee related), and the logistics of gently raising two little souls who happen to look a lot alike…