Parenting and Travel; A filtered version of reality?
Being a parent isn’t an easy task; we are flooded with social media memes and updates telling us that we are not doing enough for our kids. We aren’t spending enough time with them, we aren’t challenging them intellectually enough, we aren’t promoting positive self-esteem.
Taking this show on the road leads to many other challenges as well; not only are we stuck in our own heads about what the kids should be achieving and when travelling families lack face to face community. We aren’t able to see with our own eyes how others are handling the stresses of parenting, only seeing what they choose to display on Facebook or Instagram. The filtered version of reality.
It is with this filter in mind, and our own obsessive need to know everything about everything, that led Hubby and me to have another parenting “discussion”.
After a thought-provoking conversation that started about baby shoes and somehow moved on to babies teaching themselves to walk, we decided to settle the score and Google it. The idea was to search why good supporting shoes are needed in the first place; from an evolutionary point of view, why shouldn’t babies know how to walk properly, therefore, making arch-supporting baby-booties obsolete?
What we found in our Google search was walking baby by holding both hands and even playing walking games is potentially detrimental to their leg strength and developing fine motor skills. At face value, this looks like a Google search fail (which I am prone to), but this first article in the list of reasons why one should or shouldn’t prove arch-supporting booties on babies was a real eye-opener.
We discovered the amazing article “9 Reasons not to walk Babies” by Janet Lansbury. In it, she reflects on baby’s independence and self-discovery. Baby knows best and external pressure to achieve milestones early can harm him psychologically as well as physically; nothing is good enough for mom and dad.
It reminds me of a Facebook status update a friend of mine had posted. She, under the misguided assumption that Facebook is a great place to ask parenting questions, had a concern regarding her baby’s development and wanted to know what her mommy-friends had to say. After much argument, her mother shut down the conversation with the best comment of all; “the problem with mother’s these days is that they read too much”.
We Google everything, we ask everyone their opinion, and we never take our own instincts for what they are; A mother’s instinct. We also never trust our own children to know what is best for them. We push the baby into reaching goals like sitting early, walking early and sleeping through the night before they are developmentally ready because our culture promotes independence.
While we do not play walking games often, we do take his hand when he is standing and walk him a few steps until he decides he has had enough. We are also guilty of standing him up, waiting until he has found his balance and having the other parent call him to start walking. While this form of play does not affect dependence and fine motor skills so much as forcing him to walk with both hands, we are still pushing him to walk before he has chosen to let go of the furniture.
Below is the Blog entry that has opened our minds to some of the assumptions we make about a baby. Be sure to read the comments that were left on her site as they are just as informative as the article itself and please leave your comments here as well.
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