Beginning to trust myself as a parent

| parenting

I remember worrying about not offering the same level of stimulation that a high-quality daycare might be able to do, with their structured schedules, their activity centres, their specialist lessons in French or yoga or music.

I'm beginning to trust ourselves more now. As I observe A-, I realize that she spends most of her time trying new things, not just things that she can comfortably do. I like how following along with her interests still gives me plenty of opportunity to expand on them. I sometimes pique her interest by playing with something new. I like that too.

I may not push as much as someone well-experienced in managing the zone of proximal development might, but she'll learn all that she needs to learn and more. No rush. I still like reading textbooks and research papers, though. They're great for picking up ideas.

I'm a little less worried now about missing important things. I can keep an eye on developmental checklists and talk to the facilitators at the EarlyON Child and Family Centres. The pediatrician also reviews the developmental checklist with me. Plenty of safety nets.

I'm quiet by nature, not as vivacious as the best of the caregivers and parents I sometimes overhear at the playground. Still, A- and I are well-suited for each other at the moment. She asks me questions, and I tell her about the world around us. Sometimes we make sandcastles (or sandcakes, her favourite right now). Sometimes we mock-wrestle. Sometimes we fall into a comfortable silence while she enjoys swinging high up to the sky.

I'm learning how to read the same book five times straight. I'm learning how to make up silly games and situations, like the time I pretended to brush almost everything in the bathroom instead of A-‘s teeth. I'm learning how to answer the same question in different ways. I'm learning how to take and organize notes on her progress. I'm learning to step back and marvel at this kid's awesomeness even in the throes of strong emotions.

The next thing I'm working on learning is how to wait and observe, so that I can let A- take more initiative. I can trust that she knows how to ask for help or for the name of something. I can let her learn how to focus. I'm curious about things like The Adult Role in Child-led Play – How to Become a Learning Ally.

We'll shift, naturally, as A- becomes more interested in other people and other opportunities to learn. I trust that I'll shift along with her, doing experiments out of curiosity instead of being constrained by fear.

I can do this. It's actually pretty fun. I think it's worth the time and the deltas from Alternate Universe Sachas who took different paths. I wonder how it will play out.

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