31 October, 2014

19 months and 18 days

I have decided to start a blog journey about Sonia's development, I know its a little late but late is better than none. So I will have something to look back, and maybe one day she will read this too and understand more about her childhood.

As she grows and understands the would around her, things have been really different compared to when she was a baby. It was really tough to care for a baby with endless needs to be met, nursing a day and night, changing diapers every now and then, patting her to sleep and end up failing. Those times I keep reminding myself that soon all these will end once she has grown older, walking and eating well; things will get easier and easier. 

But hell no! There is no such thing as EASY in nurturing your child. Now she is a toddler, walking talking gibberish and can feed herself easily, I found myself in a state of a more challenging journey to begin. She has emotions, she has wishes, she has her own thoughts and opinions; and mind you it wasn't easy to deal with, especially when we have our own. 

Little bit of psychology information here, Piaget (read more here) has came up with a cognitive theory that describes stages go development in children. Children between age 2-7 years develop an egocentric view of the world, which they see the world only from their perspective (read more here ). 
Sonia would see everything in her perspective, developing a sense of possessiveness as they learn that they can manipulate objects and gain control. I shared on Facebook and Instagram she hits and pushes other children in her daycare if they take a toy she is interested in. 

   "Toddlers often want the same toy that another child has,
 not because they really want the toy, but to test their ability to dominate the situation."

As I shared on my Facebook wall, sharing is still an issue I'm working on, trying to get her to wait for her turn and teaching her to take turns with me holding an object by playing a 'my turn, your turn' game. She laughs when its my turn but still refused to hand me the object, I had to take charge and make her hand it over.

Its hard when it comes to disciplining and often we do not know how to balance autonomy and boundaries. I want to build her autonomy in deciding and going with her thoughts, but I do not want to kill her own thoughts and creativity. 

Learnt something great from articles and through chatting with her daycare principle (my relative) that being firm and keep boundaries intact helps to balance things up while not letting her cross the line and gain too much control of us. The younger she start learning that there are certain behaviour which are not accepted, rules that are not supposed to be broken, the easier we can keep control of her behaviour growing up without bashing and cause her to lose her character. 

Today her daycare teacher told me that she is more active in class activities. 
I can see her difference in socialising as she is not as afraid as before in meeting new people, it might be due to the familiarity she gains in her daycare after almost 5 months being there, and she starts to understand more and more of the world around her. 
To a behaviourally inhibited child like my daughter, new people and environment are perceived as threats to her. I chose my thesis topic to research about behavioural inhibition as I want to get to know more about this temperament. 
She isn't arrogant, it is a trait of behaviourally inhibited children to smile less to other people as she is afraid of novel situations. 
She isn't spoiled, she is a sensitive child and therefore clings to me when she is afraid. 
I have to tend to her need for safety, but at the same time I have to avoid overprotecting her. Overprotecting will not help in her inhibited personality. 

I was told that Sonia now says 'NO' to her teacher when she was asked to sit down or other instructions. Her teachers describe her as tiny but fierce. I do not know whether this is a compliment or a bashful statement. I believe in granting autonomy in children but with the right boundaries. I explained to Sonia about obeying her teachers and saying 'YES' when she was asked to sit properly. She repeated 'YES' after me and I smiled. 
However, I do not acknowledge those teachers who asked their students to sit quietly for the whole day. They are children what do you expect? They are bound to move around and jump around to satisfy their need of motion. (Of course not referring to Sonia's daycare)

"In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. 
In order to pay attention, we need to let them move. "

Here are more links highlighting classroom needs to provide students the space to move. Especially in Malaysian setting, where we are required to sit still through classes and those who move around being labelled ADHD. =.= Here

Sonia has a strong character despite of her shyness, she is strong willed and knows what she wants very well. I hope that she can grow up under the positive shade of her personality and my proper guidance. Educating a child is never easy!

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