One day completely confused from all the traveling we have been doing, I brought Lexi to her ballet class on the wrong day. The teacher was sweet enough to let Lexi join in on a different class going on then. It was “Dance around the world” for 5-10 year olds. Completely out of her age group.
As I sat there watching Lexi try her best to copy the “advanced” moves the teacher was showing them, I realized that the key to mental, intellectual and physical growth in a child is EXPOSURE.
Exposure to anything and everything.
I realize that not everyone has the opportunity to travel, but most of us have the opportunity take short road trips. Not everyone can sign their child up for 10 classes but most everyone can take them to museums, concerts, art galleries.
Every single experience Lexi had, no matter how seemingly outside her age it was, she grew through it.
It made me realize that whatever it is I am doing, she can be there. She can watch, help, participate in whatever way she can and it will benefit her.
Daily life is just so challenging as an adult. It is so much easier to be a lump and go through the motions. I feel it all the time. Too tired to make too much of a effort.
But moments like this remind why I try. Why I need to fight the “God, I just want to do nothing” thoughts and go explore and have fun!
So as much of a motivational post as it is for me, I hope that it also reminds YOU to push through and make a bigger effort.
I, too, subscribe to this parenting method of exposure and trying different things. I also notice my son grows significantly with each new item. But I recently read this article about ‘simplifying childhood’ and suddenly i questioned whether i’m focusing too much on exposure/activity and not enough down time. What’s your thoughts on this?
A lot of what I do with Lexi is not structured. I don’t set rules for how to experience the world. And even when o try hard to expose her to things, she still spends so much time in unstructured play. We go to 7 classes a week ( which is on the low side) and she still spends the majority of time at home playing Legos.
Honestly I think even if we max ourselves out, we will never come close to over scheduling kids.
For the most part, I just try to remember to involve her into what I’m doing if she is interested.
I don’t think you can go wrong if you go by child cues in these cases. She loves classes and would probably go to more. If she is given a choice to go home or to a class she chooses class each time.
So I go by where she thrives.
I really wouldn’t worry if I were you unless you’re a hitler parent who makes her child do structured things. As long as he is loving what he is doing that’s all that counts.
I also really need to do a post on our day structure. There are a few things I discovered that really work