As a parent, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. Besides loving, teaching is one of the other things you do best.
If you have any doubts about the impact of early experiences on later life, here is a story told by a parent that is likely to change your mind. While the names of the parent and her child has been changed, the information in the story is in its original form.
Birth to Three Years
When Alyssa was born, Tara (her mother), who was aware of the importance of early sensory experiences, took a piece of black construction paper and folded it in half. Then she pasted a black piece of sandpaper on the right side of the construction paper. The result was a new toy… rough on one side, smooth on the other, and all the same color. The only thing that was different on each side of the toy was the texture. Having created a new toy, she then made up a little game to play with her daughter, who was about 6 months of age.
She took each one of Alyssa’s little hands and rubbed them softly one at a time over each side of the black toy. Each time she did that, she said “rough” for the rough side and “smooth” for the smooth side. Then she took each one of Alyssa’s little feet and also rubbed them one at a time over each side of the black toy and used the same words. She and Alyssa played this game many times from the age of 6 months to about 9 or 10 months. Then in time they lost this toy and it was never to be seen again.
“Never say never,” as they say! About two years later, when Alyssa was almost three years of age, totally by chance, she found the original toy. As soon as she saw it, she took it and came running out with it to her mother saying, “Mommy, Mommy, rough, smooth.”
*Tune in next Wednesday for more information about the Pillars of Parenting!