Toddlers are the most unfiltered and authentic people who are small , dependent and forever exploring new things . Cute littlesmall people who don’t yet have the tools to regulate their emotions and who also have the most rapid brain development in progress.
But we adults see their trying to find sense of this world as toddlers throwing tantrums, pushing our buttons . Being difficult to trouble us, messy, always trying to test our limits. forever clingy and a little impolite.
I go back in time many times … when I see parents with their kids today. Reminiscing the same stage of my kids. Hated the word terrible twos even then. Wondering if they were really amazing years for me or I have forgotten the tough times . But no I don’t remember going crazy pulling my kids out of the power plugs or running after them endlessly . Rather I remember the block towers they made . The butterflies 🦋 they chased , rolling down from park small hilltops, collecting leaves 🍁 of different kinds from the garden and matching them, counting the stars 🌟 in the sky , running after the moon 🌒 to catch it, jump from the small sofas in our house , playing hide and seek etc etc . Okay some days might have been difficult but what worked was my being hands on , consistent routines of play, meal times, nap times and keeping them constructively busy.
Recounting here what did I do differently to now have memories of my two awesome beings they were then. I guess being a professional who understood child development and accepting the changes that toddler stage brings in and trying the best to make the most of them. Sharing here the understanding of the developmental milestones expected during the 2-3 years stage.
( These milestones are for 2-3 year olds. 3-4 year olds will be covered in the next blog post. Remember that milestones have a similar progression occurrence is most kids but exact time might vary from child to child )
Toys have no gender🚺🚹 , they have no idea whose playing with them, a girl or a boy . Nor do the kids … they don’t think of their own gender before they start playing with a toy …. till we adults intervene. And either joke about boys with dolls and label girls as Tom boys when they are playing with cars.Making them wonder about gender too soon.
It’s up to us parents, kids do what they see and gender discrimination in toys is an age old accepted norm. We need to commit ourselves to keep this gender conversation open. Even if we have understood how harmful it can be, we still have a world full of marketers who put gendered marketing techniques to sell their stuff and then there are neighbours, peers and older people in our children’s life. What I have done in my capacity as a child developmentalist is to constantly remind my son, his friends , cousins, grandparents, and everyone around us who would listen that there is no such thing as boy stuff and girl stuff. It is high time that we change the narrative all around and hence I have been trying to reach as many people as I can through Lilsakos, a gender neutral space I have been building for last six months. https://www.instagram.com/lilsakos/
One issue of not giving our boys dolls to play makes me especially angry. If we can love a man rocking a baby or a doting father changing diapers , why do so many squirm or bully boys with dolls. Seeing a father caring for a baby makes us miss a beat and invoke a emotion in us. So why, when we like men to be sensitive and caring ,why do we discourage small boys to cry, play with dolls and never ever think how harmful our expectations from little boys are.
See below four powerful reasons that will convince you to let your boys and girls both play with dolls:
It will help raise empathetic kids irrespective of their gender. A doll can be a great way to role play situations, talk about feelings or simply learn how to care for something.
Dressing up dolls is good for fine motor skills of kids. The buttoning, zipping is good practice for them to learn to dress themselves up.
Caring for a doll can be used to show kids how to hold someone smaller than them or how to be gentle with them. A doll can help a kids get prepared for a new baby sibling.
Many of us women grew up playing with dolls, but not too many men did. We need to give dolls to our little boys to debunk the age old idea that caring is a woman’s job. Just like dolls prepared us to be moms, dolls can prepare boys to be dads.
Environment matters, what we say to our children matters, how we live our lives matters, how stimulating is our house for our kids matters. Everything matters …especially what we do ourselves matters …..as kids learn not so much by what we say to them but more by seeing us and what we do …they learn by imitation.
So if we read , they read. If we listen to music , they grow up into people appreciating music. We spend our time in creative pursuits , they become creative. We invest in books and are seen reading , they read. We buy things and games which stimulate , they get stimulated . We enjoy going to museums , they will take their kids to museums too.
Our homes are a Petri dish of creativity. More creative we are with how we as parents make our kids spaces meaningful and add meaningful art, games, books & stimulating decor, the more we help in our children’s unconscious and incidental learning. Lets keep giving our kids an environment that inspires and motivates and fill our home with things that matter. Check out our website http://www.lilsakos.com and instagram ttps://www.instagram.com/lilsakos/ for stimulating products made with lots and lots of love for your precious little ones!
Time flies I am telling you …. I have been there, Time flew fast and so did my kids. Make it Count Moms & Dads. Make your Home Environment Stimulating!