Updated: Nov 8, 2019
Im about to start childminding again. On a more relaxed basis , in my own home and I am excited, it will give me income ( which is nice ) it will give me a kick up arse to be organised and professional ( been a lazy mummy which has also been nice ) but most of all it will give my wee one companionship and a shared learning environment ( which is the biggest reason for me doing it ) Like I have said in other blogs about positive peer pressure , my wee one needs to hang out with others, not just me ! She needs to learn to have others in her space to communicate, learn , maybe teach, play and have fun with. She is essentially an only child between 9 to 5, before getting carried away on errands and pick ups and drop off that her bigger brothers require ..Can you say mummy taxi ! She gets my full attention then and then has to fend for herself later as others need me. This has been good for her, she is wildly independent and loves to just pottle around in her own rooms and head space. But she is getting older and is wanting to communicate , needs to play with others , even if its parallel to begin with before moving on to cooperative play.
And thats where sharing comes in. Sharing a space, sharing her toys, sharing a collective consciousness.
Sharing a space- she knows that others live here and definitely has flexed her muscles in cuteness to get them to do what she wants. But with the age of communication upon us , she needs to learn to share her space with others. She needs to be aware of others , that they are in the room, they are not going to move out of her way just because she comes bulldozing through in her own special way. And most definitely if they are inanimate objects. What Im taking about is spacial awareness. As she becomes aware of self , she also becomes aware of her control over the space around her and we as adults have to give them that space to explore but also not to make it too easy for them. I have two examples. My wee one is learning about gaps and has decided that she wants through the tiniest of them and usually where I am sitting on the floor ( another one of my blogs touches on playing on their level with them ) She will get very vocal with me and now Ive noticed with other children , including larger and older ones than herself , to get them to move. This is not happening, ONE, because the bigger kids have that awareness already and aren't willing to move and TWO I won't either so she learns she has to go around me or what ever it is , be it a table, couch, sandpit etc etc. The other example is taking responsibility for her space. When she bumps into things, I need her to know it was her mistake. Especially non moveable objects. ( I am by no means saying Im teaching her to go around apologising to everyone she bumps in to , thats usually 50/50 in life ) No I have found that us parents in my observation take the responsibility off the child and place it on the object, silly table , naughty chair leg, etc. This only teaches our kids that they were in the right against an object and taking no accountability for their actions. This can lead down a path in to terrible twos where they want want want and you can make a rod for your own back.
Sharing her toys- I am of the school of thought that we should not tell our kids nor make them share their toys . Now hear me out . In parallel play most kids suddenly want what the other is playing with even if 10 secs ago , they had it or didn't want it now they do. And most parents resort to asking the child to share it , or hand it over. Thinking that sharing is a good thing ... and it is. But why should your child have to hand over what they were happily playing with just because another wants it? We don't as adults ? If they have nicked it off another and or snatched it , yes we need to intervene but I tend to tell my wee ones that they need to find something else until so and so is finished and will hand it over at that time. I am of the school of thought of taking turns vs sharing instantly. In life a good skill , is hard work and patience verses instant gratification ( I have teens that I am battling with over this - earning money to buy they things they want, not just getting them bought and if broken bought again ) Well I feel the patience part starts early. As they grow up in a shared space they will know whether its important to wait or to move on. This can be achieved with distraction. If it's really the toy they have to have they will come back around it when it becomes available.
Shared collective- learning to work with others, not just about toy sharing but learning that they need to have relationships with others in their space. I have my two sitting at the table to have their snacks, sometimes out of the same bowl. They are learning and teaching each other to share in the treat. To take a piece at a time not to snatch and be greedy. When they are older this sort of communal play or eating leads to forming friendship and cooperative play. Both are involved in the direction of games , made up or working together to achieve something like a puzzle together. Connections are made in the brain that gratification comes with sharing with others in experiences. It's a wonderful sight when wee ones join hands and go off on an adventure that you can't go on, just observe.
Lastly my wee one will learn to share me, I guess. I will be always there for her but also be available for other wee ones who need me. She has a sense of this from being the youngest but I also want to install and sense of independence and self awareness that she can do things on her own, that she has to problem solve , be brave, try new things and go forth. Mummy will be watching. She is definitely on that path with her potting about the house and rearranging any and all items and furniture she can lift. And I feel with the introduction of a 2nd and 3rd party around the same age , this will help to reenforce this sense of self confidence in her.
But the best sharing I’m looking forward to , is sharing her world as she explores it and seeing where and what she will do next .........