From the minute a child is born she is learning. Some will argue before. This is literally true, and fascinating in its truth. Think about it.
Because learning is happening in every waking moment of a child’s life, we should pay attention to what they’re learning – because they are. Parents are teaching their child with every little thing that they do. As an educator/administrator I remind teachers who are dealing with an unruly child that “they weren’t born that way” (Lady Gaga is talking about something else). The point is that the child learned to be unruly by what she saw or how she was treated.
The parent who always brings to their infant the very thing that the infant is seeking, so that they won’t have to exert so much energy and can be happy NOW, is teaching the infant that effort and persistence are unnecessary and that things will come easily. This is what learning in every waking moment means. The child has no choice about this- it’s how nature set the system up. For this “now happy” infant: what a shame.
“Maybe their lives will turn out differently” says president emeritus of the American Public Media Group, Bill Kling, when talking about his childhood opportunity to explore things first hand, on his own. “I think we often undervalue the importance of giving kids that kind of hands-on experience. It may not lead to their deciding what to do with their lives, but it’s surprising what they will absorb- and maybe their lives will turn out differently.”
Indeed. Let’s step back from being so on top of our children. Let’s give them space to explore, inquire on their own, make mistakes, mess up, fail, and of course… learn all the while.