Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Modern Mamahood: Stimulate

This past weekend was A3C Hip Hop Festival in Atlanta for me -- I run sponsorship for this annual event and we completely blew it out of the water this year. Really good times!

While I was there, one of the vendors I had in our merch area brought her 16-month old son along for the day. Her son was very chill and laid back and really doing absolutely nothing the entire time.

I know it's a matter of fact that males develop slower than females throughout their earlier years, and I am the last person to pass judgment, but this child seemed sadly under-stimulated. Here's a toddler who has learned to walk but is content just sitting on mommy's lap, not playing with anything, or doing anything (we talked long enough for me to know there weren't any other challenges this child was dealing with).

So this leads me to believe that like many other toddlers and babies I've witnessed, this child must be under-stimulated. Comparatively, my daughter who is the same age is such a wild little beast-baby, there's no way I'd be able to keep her contained at a vendor booth for 12-hours.

In thinking about this, I just wanted to remind parents to STIMULATE your growing, thriving children. I'm guessing that LL-mamas would naturally do this; we've got so much creativity and hunger to learn and explore within ourselves. But this is a message I took home with me and have begun improving on already.

If you need help thinking of new ways to engage your children, or if you have a friend or relative who does...start by thinking of all the ways you could help them learn about:
  • Their senses: Music, new foods, textures, perfumes, books, conversation
  • Their imagination: Make stuffed animals talk and move, make forts and tunnels out of your environment, use a banana phone
  • Their world: Take them outside and let them get a feel for all the different elements of the earth and weather, let them see people of different sizes, colors and dress, take them to busy and also empty spaces
  • People: Teach how to greet people and how to say good-bye, let them approach other little kids and adults under your supervision, remember they follow your lead so smiles go a long way toward a friendly child
  • Motor skills: Show them how to run and roll around, give them safe places to climb and balance, let them try to do things even if they get frustrated
Point is, guide them on their journey of experiencing the world. As a new mom, I'm always intrigued by how often I have to demonstrate how to play with new toys before my daughter gets how to do it herself. Logically, we need to take the lead in so many other areas as well if we want a well-rounded, social, confident little cutie.

The Modern Mamahood Column on the Ladies Lotto Blog:
As our Ladies Lotto community grows and evolves, we now have quite a few mamas and mamas-to-be! The LL Modern Mamahood weekly column presents the issues and products related to being a Ladies Lotto Mama. Blogger: Lana Perry

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