“Under the urge of nature and according to the laws of development, though not understood by the adult, the child is obliged to be serious about two fundamental things … the first is the love of activity … The second fundamental thing is independence.” — Maria Montessori
There’s no magic pill for parenting or instruction manual handed to us the moment we become a parent. It doesn’t take long to realize, Wow—this is real and I will be a parent for the rest of my life. Most days, with one foot in front of the other, love in our hearts and best intentions in our heads, we parent. And perhaps on not-as-good days we breathe deeply, grab an extra cup of coffee and fight back the tears of exhaustion. Regardless of how you look at it, parenting is an awesome job.
There is, however, a magic time in a child’s life in which his most significant brain growth and development takes place—birth to age six. It’s during these formative years that a child develops with little effort both naturally and easily. Yes, birth to six matters A LOT and dedicating the time and effort to those first six years of your child’s life will make all the years that follow much, MUCH easier, for both parent and child, in so many ways.
Parenting takes love, patience, determination, consistency, discipline, a sense of humor and, perhaps most of all, listening. If you are truly listening to your child, you will be able to have a greater understanding of his natural development and needs from the start. Listen with your ears, eyes, heart and mind. Listening is the true magic— and that can be the hardest task of all. It starts by following the child.