“Careful!!” A man shouts nervously at my one year old as he runs toward him while looking around for his parent.
Vincent was navigating some steps at a time, crawling down them.
“I’m watching him” I reassure the man, “he is learning how to get down stairs”.
Recently at a family gathering, Vincent was throwing a ball and stumbling around to get it before throwing it again… someone said to me:
“Wow he’s pretty far away from you!”…. which was followed with a curious “how did you get him to do that?”
I’m often met with anxious stares when we are out, if Vincent crawls off somewhere it is like I am expected to immediately run after him and scoop him up.
But as long as he is safe, why should I intrude on his experiences in the world, his opportunities to make personal connections to people and place, especially in nature?
Vincent and I returned to work when he was four months old, running our nature based family day care. We play outside in my large, very natural backyard with all of earth’s elements. Vincent is so calm when outside, as if all his needs are fulfilled. Vincent plays with three other children each day and happily shares his toys and environment with them.
I believe that Vincent’s confidence and independence is very much connected to growing up in family day care and the philosophy I practice.
And as a parent, my biggest goal is to foster his resilience…as I believe that will help him through his entire life.
Written by Tabitha Webb