Welcome to my Kindermusik space...

A place to refresh your love of music, your wonder in children, and your peace in parenting well.

Monday, November 7

When your expectations don't match your child's needs

Two minutes to class time.  On your way up to the classroom and your child who has been excitedly talking about class all week, suddenly develops a strong affection for Mom's legs.  No eye contact with classmates - certainly not the teacher.  Hmmm....

Or perhaps your child is happy to come to class, but they prefer to watch activities than to actively participate.  When the sticks are presented for exploration, your child likes to hold them in their hands and then watch and see what others do with them.

Has your baby ever fallen asleep during class, or your older child been hesitant to join in?

All these responses are quite normal, even if they throw Mom's expectation level for a loop.  Some children like to learn by watching others and then explore the ideas in the comfort of their own home.  Over time, parents notice a growing confidence in interpersonal interaction and their child ventures out into the hub of activity.  Opportunity to explore in an accepting, encouraging environment invites children to move beyond their current action paradigm and explore new ways of engagement - but it does take time.  I've also seen parents gently guide their children towards exploring out of their comfort zone by being their to provide reassurance as they move outwardly together - such as in going to the instrument boxes together to retrieve or put back instruments.

Regarding sleepy babies:  again, this is quite normal.  Babies are wanting to gather information about their world, but it is a journey that takes a lot of energy.  Singing, dancing, insrument play, and interpersonal interaction are all activities that can make a baby tired.  And depending on where they are at in their sleep/waking/eating cycle, it may be more or less challenging to last the whole class without sleep.  The good news is that falling asleep in class is totally fine.  If they are tired, they should sleep.  A large percentage of the class is geared towards equipping the parents with ideas for home music making and understanding their baby's development.

It's hard to let go of parental expectations and let our children explore at their own pace.  But you will find that letting them learn in their own way has way less stress on families, than trying to make them learn in your favourite or dominant style.  There is more than one successful way to learn  - ask me about how Kindermusik utilizes multiple learning styles for maximum effectiveness.

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