Learning From Pictures vs Learning from Reality

toddler reading book spot leilazamoramoreno

We were going through one of Cesar’s books, pointing and identifying all the things he can recognise in the drawings. When we got to this page, Cesar was pointing at the dog’s back, and with his facial expressions ask what this ‘thing on his back is about’.
I explained to him that it’s a backpack and dug through our cupboards to find us a backpack each. Whenever we teach or show him new words, we aim to provide a physical reference of what something is (and if we can, a few different ones – showing that say a backpack not only takes ‘one form’ but exists as a variety). This is because we want to teach him what something ‘is’ rather than ‘what it looks like’. Learning through pictures would be like saying that ‘your Facebook profile picture’, is ‘who you are’ — while we all know that there is much more to any person than what their appearance is like. Teaching through pictures creates the assumption that you know and understand something simply because you have a visual reference. In the long run we start to trust our imagination as being real and valid (being made up of pictures) while physical reality can have a whole different story to tell. Just as we can’t fathom to know a person by a picture, so it is with all things in our reality. When we work with books, we always specify we are looking at a drawing or picture of something and not ‘the real deal’.

#words #learning #vocabulary #reality #pictures #education #parenting

Not Sharing the Whole Story

toddler hiding crying leilazamoramoreno

Cesar has been going through some new developments as of late. When he goes through an experience of being ‘wronged’, he’ll run off to the closest person to cry and complain about his great misfortune. While he cries and moans, he’ll only give ‘his story’, only sharing a part of what happened, and leaving out any information indicating how he played part in creating the story, how he contributed to his own misfortune. If the person is aware of what happened and what the whole story is, they’ll challenge him to get all the information, challenge him to consider all sides/aspects of what happened so that he can learn and prevent such a situation from playing out again; rather than indulging in victimization and powerlessness (and thus inviting a replay, as he then won’t see how things could have gone differently).

Here, he slid off the couch (very softly) and went into an emotional experience about it, demanding I help him get up. Seeing what had happened and seeing he was totally fine physically, I told him to get up himself. He wasn’t very pleased with it but got himself up, and as a way of retaliation for not getting his way, where I didn’t indulge him in his emotional experience of victimization – he took a toy and hit it on my arm. I took the toy away from him while giving him a strong NO.  He then ran off to Maite who was busy doing dishes, crying and moaning about his previous aw, blaming me for the experience. Maite explained to him what happened and we all sat together going over what happened, until he settled down and moved on.

It’s interesting to see and play out – him being a toddler, it is overly obvious what game he is playing. Yet, this game is a game we adults know all too well, but often don’t see it or identify it as such. Whenever something happens where we feel disempowered or ‘wronged’, it’s easier to paint off other people as being ‘the boogeyman’, it’s easier to point fingers and blame others, to gossip about another behind their backs, to only focus and see ‘our side of the story’ – rather than looking at all aspects and dimensions which played out, identifying and seeing where we contributed to the situation and experience we find ourselves in and taking responsibility for it.

It’s fascinating to see how young we already start playing out these patterns, but I am grateful for the support and people around me to equally already start at a young age to show how he can live and incorporate the correction. Not only for him, but a good reminder for us adults too! Through watching him grow and develop, seeing the quirky patterns come up – I get to introspect on myself, see how and who I have become today. As much as I’m parenting him, I’m also parenting – or re-patterning – myself to become the person I would like to be and become.

Is anything ever really Gone?

chalk drawing toddler leilazamoramoreno

Here Cesar is wiping some chalk drawings away of circles, squares and crescent moons. While he is wiping he goes ‘wipe, wipe, wipe’ – and once it’s all wiped out, he goes ‘Gone!!!’
What was funny in this moment is that the chalk wasn’t really gone. And I noticed how when we play hide and seek with objects or when things are ‘out of sight’ that I have been telling them that they are ‘gone’. I realised I had been teaching him that when you can no longer see things that they are ‘gone’ – while in fact, they always remain present. He can wipe away the chalk drawing, but the chalk remains – it’s now just spread all over the tile and on his wipe. So I started explaining how things are not really gone just because we don’t see them anymore. I showed him how the chalk was still here but changed form. That when we throw things away and can’t see them anymore, that they are still existent and present, we just don’t see them anymore at that very moment.
I remember when I was small and accidentally set a paper tissue on fire, that I threw it in the garbage bin assuming that it now would be ‘gone’ and no longer ‘exist’. As if the bin was some sort of black hole that would send any object into non-existence. Luckily my mom noticed me rushing to the bin and walking away relieved, seeing that something was up and killed the flame before it set the whole bin on fire lol. It’s interesting to see how the use of such as small word incorrectly, creates all kinds of misconceptions.

#words #vocabulary #namethegame #meaning #buildingblocks #parenting #education

Ground Yourself

toddler lying down leilazamoramoreno

One of the things Cesar has done with me throughout his lil lifetime, is lying on the ground and inviting me to come lay next to him. I had a lot of resistance and excuses at first: it’s cold, it’s dirty, it’s uncomfortable… But anyone who knows Cesar, knows he is persistent and uncompromising – and so he would keep insisting, asking and inviting – and so eventually I started lying down with him on the ground. And the first thing I noticed, was how nice it was. How the ground was cool but not cold. How it had a grounding effect. How it gives you different perspective on things, just because you place your body in a way where you see things from a different angle. Some days he falls asleep on me on the floor, other days we just lay there,gazing into each others eyes – really seeing one another and end off with a nice giggly chuckle.
Thanks Cesar for your persistence and insistence to share your experiences with me!

#parenting #toddler #baby #floor #ground #play #gaze #intimacy #grounding #earthyourself