Monday, July 28, 2008

Zone of proximal development

Big name, but full of a whole lot of sense. Being a new mom, at least to my own, I am full of doubt, fear, confusion, just to name a few, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I know that's a mouth full of negativity, but hey I've always been a glass half empty kinda girl. Today I came across an interesting article that put a new spin on a looming question. The twins are moving alone smoothly, and although you always hear all kids will develope at different intervals yada yada yada, watching two go through everything so differently, I have to constantly remind myself to wait and be patient. The other day my mother was over to visit the girls and noticed that every time one of them would drop her sippy cup I'd pick it up, or if they'd fallen and wanted to stand again, I'd offer assistance. She exclaimed that I was doing them a disservice, that I should let them cry it out soon they'll figure out how to do for themselves. To me, it just seemed like torture, I could only imagine how annoying it would if I was in that position. Anyhow, it made sense but didn't at the same time, confusion set in. I didn't want to stifle their development by being one of THOSE moms (over enablers), but also didn't want to numb myself to their cries and be one of THOSE moms (tortures). After reading this I realized it's OK. I realized that in doing these sort of helping tasks, I'm providing just the right amount of support so that they can eventually master the skill for themselves.

The Zone of proximal development is the gap between what children can accomplish independently and what they can accomplish when interacting with others, whether it be parents or siblings. My mom's always saying "we didn't go by that when I was raising you all". So, hey scientific research is all good, but I kinda like the true hands on stories and ideas better. Do you have any stories were you've helped your little one? Did it help them to master that skill or did you find yourself doing it a little longer than you expected?

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1 comment:

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