Living in Israel for more than 2 months, I have been observing the way Israelis manage their kids and I have to say..
I'm utterly impressed.
In Israel, it is a common to see a mother walking on the street with 2-4 kids and no helper. They have one of the highest average birth rate in developed world - with about 3 kids per family.
Many mothers are stay-at-home moms who are main caregivers for their kids and most of them work freelance at home.
2 months ago, I went to a gathering and saw a boy at 7 months old (a few days older than Aedan) able to crawl and stand up by himself. At that time, Aedan was still not able to stand and crawl. "I'm not trying to compare the development pace of my baby with others. But it's just natural that I observe kids behaviours more ever since I have mine"
There was another time when I saw a 17 months old baby sitting at a baby chair next to his mother and elder brother. He was feeding himself to pita bread and he dipped into his choice of sauce all by himself. He did not fuss or throw the plate/food on the floor.
I was so amazed and I asked these mothers how they taught their kids...
I was expecting that they will share with me their "secret tricks" but instead they told me that they did NOTHING.
They just let them crawl and eat by themselves and gradually they mastered the skills.
I went home and thought about their words.
This was exactly what was lacking.. I have done too much.
When I was in Singapore, our family was so protective of Aedan that we will not let him crawl on the hard ground and will carry him whenever he fussed. I never realized that I was actually hindering his learning.
After observing how Israelis take care of their babies, I tried to not overly protect and to let him explore learning on his own.
There were times he fell and knocked on his head when he tried to sit on his own. He cried for awhile and then continued.. That's when he learnt that the floor is hard. (When we were in Singapore, we only let him crawled on cushion area or bed. He was not afraid of falling and he never learnt).
After giving him the freedom to explore, he did not immediately master the skills, he failed a few times but that's part of learning.
He tried again, fell, learnt and did it again, finally he managed to master crawling and sitting.
Now he's learning to stand on his own without support. We never force him. We simply let him be and we observed that he will try to pull our legs, hands, any supports that he can find to pull himself to stand.
Now when i see him fall, I no longer rush to carry him. Instead, I'll encourage him to try again.
Like us adult, often it's through multiple failures that we learn to master success.
If we never let them fail, how will they learn to overcome failure and stand again.
- Mommy Eve