Small children are learning machines. They are wonderful mimics, noticing and trying everything. They also practice until they get something. Give them language like open and closed or up and down and watch them apply it with everything they can reach.
Small children are not only watching, they love to be included—but then, don’t we all?
Recently, my daughter-in-law, Ranee, picked me up at my hotel. Abigail, who is two, and Caroline, who is four, were in their car seats in the back. Just as I got in, this conversation occurred:
Abigail: “Baby want five.”
Me: “Five what, Abigail?”
Caroline, my interpreter, said, “Grandpa Paul, Abigail wants a high five!”
Ranee then explained that the previous evening, Abigail had been disappointed when I reached in and gave Caroline a high five handshake but did not do so for Abigail.
One more reminder for me to slow down, pay attention, and notice who might like to be included—even if they are only two!
- Who is disappointed when you don’t acknowledge their presence?
- Who would love more of your time and attention?
- Who is learning from you moment by moment?
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” —Robert Fulghum, American author