Babies start learning from the moment when she is born and starts to take in her new surroundings. Every sight and sound will be a part of her learning process. My daughter started observing whatever I do and listen to every word I say. And as the months passed by, she started to imitate me. Fully conscious teaching, with books and other articles of learning will come much later on;
With our baby daughter, I started reading her a bed time story at about six months old. She could not understand fully, but it gave her exposure to books and the comfort of a bed time routine, with my voice and sounds, and the pictures in the book. It did not matter that every night it was Goldilocks and the Three Bears, or one of the other old favorites in the book.
Repetition does not matter to her; in fact it is a part of the comfort for her. That routine helped me to ensure that she slept contented every night and has only woken once since. That was recently when she seemed to have had a bad dream. A quick cuddle, and she went back to sleep again.
One thing that made me surprise was that my daughter observes and understands far more than I think. All the while, when she is not talking, she will be picking up words and their meanings. Those words will eventually come out verbally, even if they don't sound quite right to begin with.
Personally, I think it is important to speak with my daughter in a normal, adult like way and never limit my speech to what I think she knows. As she was a bright child, she grasped in everything whatever I say to her, even when she was 6 months old, and she remembered it for long time than I expected.
My opinion is that from a very early age, it is best to "explain while we talk while we do". When I was feeding her potato, I taught her that “It is potato”; when I was preparing her a bottle full of milk to feed her, I will tell her that I am preparing milk for her. Every time when I do something in front of her, I felt that it was my opportunity to teach her about what was happening around her. I did so. It also helped to speed up her knowledge and understanding capability, exposed her more to language, and also helped to build my relationship with my daughter. By conversing with her all the time, helped her to increase confidence and feeling of belonging.
I won’t always force her to learn anything. I feel that my daughter should learn new things in a natural and relaxed way.
My daughter is now 4 years, and for many months now she has been the one to decide what she wants to do at bedtime: a story, nursery rhymes, her new teaching cards. I respect her choice, and it helped her mature as a child; but let it be known it is her bed time. If her demand is to get up and play again, then I need to be firm, or else I’m sure that I will stack up with problems for later. I felt that I should be the boss, but at the same time she should be able to make a reasonable choice.
Sometimes she will surprise me. My daughter got bored with the bedtime stories recently, and all she wanted for a few nights was something to hold. For a few bedtimes, she wanted a book to hold as she lay down; despite the fact there was no chance of reading it once the light was out. Then it was one of her dolls, and next back to stories and nursery rhymes again.
I realized that all learning should be pressure free, and fun for my baby. She will teach me what she wants to learn about. I stimulated her mind from her young age, and as she was observant, she will be pointing out things from her very young age. I always participate with her whatever she does. If she points at the moon and gets excited, I try to explain to her what it is; if she points to a bird, I’ll do the same.
As my daughter was an intelligent baby she grasped everything I do and learnt many mew things in a short time. By conversing with her in a normal way, she does make simple associations and follow those instructions literally. At about 15 months, she often left a bit of her food at mealtimes and I would finish it for her. After this went on a few weeks, I remarked that I was her garbage bin. A few weeks more passed, and she had finished eating an apple one day, and offered me the core. I said: "Put it in the garbage." she went toddling off, not to the garbage bin, but to me. I was the garbage bin to her, because that is what I had "taught" her a few weeks earlier.
That brought lots of laughs, but when she was corrected, the revised knowledge stuck, and now in the same situation she wanders off to find the real garbage bin.
Teaching her is a daily and ongoing activity, but I always teach her the one that was just melded in with my normal activities. It's a fun time for both of us, so I enjoy teaching her new things.
About Rohini Vijay
I have been married for 6 years now. I'm a Mommy to a busy girl named Ishitha. She is now 4.8 years old. I'm a full-time mommy. My daughter keeps me busy always. She is very kind to everyone and a happy child always. So, I feel that I'm very lucky to have her in my life. I enjoy reading books, love to hear music and I engage myself in blogging at my leisure time.
This is personal experience and point of view of Mrs Rohini Vijay as a mother. Happy Motherhood does not take responsibility for the contents and those not necessarily represent point of view of Happy Motherhood