As an Asian kid growing up, there is always a certain degree of competitiveness going around me, be it in academic sense or who has the shiniest Tamiya 4WD Toy Car. I was always stuck in the loop of never-ending competitions. At home, I was compared to the neighbour’s kid in the academic sense (typical Asian parents). At school, I always have to compete with my classmates over who gets the better grade. While competition did get me where I am today, I couldn’t help but think that part of my childhood was left wanting because of the fast paced environment and it did take a toll on me sometimes. My parents did a great job in raising me and I appreciate that. But now that I am a parent myself, I want to do better for my child. My childhood experience has taught me to embrace my child’s own unique pace for learning. And to my fellow parents out there, here’s my newbie parental guide for late bloomers.
Don’t Stress About It
Seriously, don’t stress about it UNLESS it is a fatally-threatening condition. As Asians (and I am talking to you as a former Asian kid), we have been hardwired to compete and be the best, beat the rest. We always assume that everyone is our competition. I say, “take it easy”. Your child is a human being, not a machine. Even machines are given day-offs and leisure rests now and then. Just as much as you dislike being compared, you should consider the same from your child’s perspective.
Understand That Growth is Gradual
One of the most important matters about parenthood is to understand that not every child grows at the same pace. I am not talking about physical size alone but also the child’s mental capability. With that in mind, don’t do number 1 and rush things out. In fact, introduce new concepts and things to your child from time to time. This would ease them into transitions and help them learn new things better. After all, growth is a marathon, not a 100m sprint.
Encourage and Support Your Kid
Encouragement and support do not consist of mere physical and materialistic matters. In fact, you will also need to be emotionally available to your child as well. Furthermore, your child would need your support the most during their critical period which ranges from 0 to 5 years old. This is backed by WHO research which stated that this is the period in life when the brain undergoes rapid development and is most volatile to change. Thus, a healthy foundation is laid for the baby’s health and wellbeing throughout life.
Practice Activities That Engage Your Child The Most
Perhaps the best way to speed up your child’s growth and learning is to simply play with them. Practice activities that engage your child the most, it could be colouring together, playing football together or maybe, read them stories if they like it! This would help improve their dexterity and mental thought process immensely as they feel safe and engaged with you.The added bonus? You get to spend quality time together and be closer to each other! Take some time off your weekend to set up an inflatable swimming pool or maybe take a bath together! For more information on baby bath tub Singapore parents recommend, do pay our website a visit!
Let Your Kids Self-Feed!
During feeding or meal time, encourage your kids to self-feed, as it helps in improving the child’s dexterity and hand-eye coordination! Do not be upset if they revert to using fingers while eating, if they do use tools, guide them by directing the food and tool to their mouth. Introduce the use of spoons and forks slowly as they grow up. For a safer feeding experience, use children-friendly forks. You would be surprised at the number of options you can have for babies when it comes to spoon fed weaning.
Perhaps the biggest test to parenthood lies in your ability to put up with your child’s shenanigans. You need to understand that your child is currently going through his or her critical period (0-5 years old). Therefore, your patience and support would be crucial to the child’s development around this period. Furthermore, you would need to take your child’s temperament (the manner in which they react to what happens to them) into account as well. Are they the persistent type? Highly active? Are they easily discouraged or have a meek view of things? Take your time and observe them. They will need you to understand and love them above all. It’s not easy, but parenthood is never easy. Which is why the result of your success in raising your kid would taste so sweet.
Don’t Pamper Them Too Much
While it is important to support your child and prepare a conducive environment for them, sometimes you might want to keep in mind that too much of a good thing can be harmful. Studies have shown that children who are constantly pampered or coddled develop their muscles and coordination slower than those who are given more freedom. However, a little space for them to be independent should be considered. They will learn to develop, practice and be accustomed to new situations accordingly. The same theory applies to your late bloomer as well. In fact, it will even help them get back on track or at the very least, aid their growth.
All in all, don’t be surprised or upset if your child is a late bloomer. Embrace them, love them for who they are. With your love and patience, your child will definitely blossom and have a healthy growth.
Interested to learn more about how you can promote your child’s growth? MumChecked has a plethora of products for babies, toddlers, and mums that helps! Have a nice day!