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How do you raise your children when they're < 1 yr old?

What did you do? What books did you read to them? Music you played? Songs you sang? How did you educate them? What do you think is the most effective? I need an inspiration here. Thanks.
Permalink New Father 
January 15th, 2006
One rule:
Are they breathing? Then you're doing a good job.

It gets harder later on. :)

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 15th, 2006
The Baby Einstein DVDs are semi educational and keep them quiet an staring at the pretty colors on the TV.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 15th, 2006
Lots of eye contact and talking. Singing is cool. In your spare moments make sure all dangers(*)[1] are fenced off or put away - once they can reach things they want to educate themselves.

(*) dishwasher powder, laundry chemicals, knives, petfood ...
[1] sanity dangers - hifi gear, fancy crockery, photo albums ...

Oh the joy.
Permalink trollop 
January 15th, 2006
heh. my girls are slightly over a year old now and, like philo, Ive been reduced to pointing out that since they are not *actually* dead we are probably doing our job.

seriously.....they have learnt to do everything they can so far pretty much on their own...crawling, singing, pointing, burbling...its all kind of happened as a sideeffect of our just looking after them and playing with them.

we do read to them and whatnot of course, but on the whole Im getting the strong feeling that they would do as well so long as there was *some* intereaction with us...they pretty much do all the learning by themselves at their own pace.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
" The Baby Einstein DVDs are semi educational and keep them quiet an staring at the pretty colors on the TV."

They aren't great, and are only marginally educational.

We of course loaded up on them before having our first. She didn't care for them at all, and I was amazed that it was basically 45 minutes or whatever of watching toys (so much so that it should be a collaborative freeware thing - I'll submit 10 minutes of some random toy going to a site)- I'd swear it was just an extended toy ad called "All The Toys You Don't Have But Want" (they also include a thing telling you to go to a website to buy all of the toys).

The best education for a child at that age is simply the world - interacting with whatever can safely be accommodated.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 15th, 2006
Yeah, they are only marginally educational. Basically it's kiddy versions of classical music with lots of spinny bright toys going by. I completely agree that it could be a communal thing, just think of it as a televised musical mobile with more music and variety than a regular mobile.

It didn't catch your daughter's attention, but it did catch my nephews, and any chance at some peace is good.
Permalink MarkTAW 
January 15th, 2006
BTW, don't get hung up on when the kid does what (crawling, walking, talking, etc) - during early development kids generally do what they want when they're ready. Obviously there are extremes (not walking by age 18 of course means they're a geek...), but don't get competitive or obsessive about what month they start talking, etc.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
January 15th, 2006
" don't get hung up on when the kid does what"

good advice. having (non-identical) twins really makes that point.

one of my girls is interested in walking...likes to stand with help while she staggers forward like a drunken chimp.
The other couldn't care less and sits instead.

babies will, apparently, do things when they are ready and not a second before.
I could spend hours trying to teach the one who is not interested how to walk and I fully believe it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference to when she actually does walk.

same with everything else.

just watch with interest as they decide to do stuff :)
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 15th, 2006
Our daughter's 21 months.

We didn't obsess about "raising" her, or doing anything to teach her stuff, just brought her along to everything we could and whenever we thought of something we'd show her.

We "taught" her to clap in 5 seconds.

She walked early 10 months because she wanted to. Kept pulling herself up, kept wanting to be held up when she tried to walk.

We did watch some Baby Einsteins and she liked them, but then lost interest. Now we're endlessly watching The Wizard of Oz.

She's picking up tons of words.

It all just happens.
Permalink Ward Bush 
January 15th, 2006
Don't you think you could get her interested in walking and then teach her? Children under 1 year can't be taught?

Maybe you don't need to teach the child, or maybe teaching the child is bad for some reason, but really I don't think the child at age 1 can't be taught.
Permalink Kasey 
January 15th, 2006
My daughter is currently 2 3/4, and it's amazing really - She constantly ignores or fails to "learn" the things we think we need to teach her, and then she constantly _blows_ _us_ _away _ with the things she knows from observation/osmosis (kids are frickin' brilliant. Observation and logic, minus all of the baggage of adults. It's eye opening).

That's the whole premise behind Montessori, which is that kids are already programmed to learn everything they can learn, and any forcing is just going to make them resentful about education, and might actually thwart natural learning that would have happened anyways.

If you're nervous that your child doesn't walk as quickly as the other nattering soccer mom's kids, and you constantly enforce "walking training", that's sucking time from what the child would have focused on with true interest.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 16th, 2006
I'm not saying that you should expose your child to tremendous experience, but just warning that if you put the horse before the cart you're just overwhelming your child with noise that distracts from real experience. Some of the "educational" toys for infants are absolutely ridiculous, and there's no possibility that the child understands the fundamentals for the advanced exposure to be of any value. Showing an infant formulas or explaining relativity isn't going to give you a physics whiz when they're really just trying to learn that wizz makes their diaper warm.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 16th, 2006
Geez, first "should" = "shouldn't"
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 16th, 2006
"but really I don't think the child at age 1 can't be taught."

oh, no. they can definitely be taught. just let them show you what they are interested in. dont expect it to be what you want/expect them to be interested in.

one of my daughters wants to learn how to walk. the other doesn't. OTOH the other wants to pass lego to me. and I fit it together and pass it back. and she pulls it apart and passes it to me.
its outstanding fun :)

trying to teach the walking one about lego has met with blank disinterest.  ditto the lego one about walking.
I assume eventually they will swap. or maybe not. frankly, I dont really have a clue.

biggest thing Ive learnt is that parents honestly dont have a clue what they are doing. not the faintest idea.

luckily the kids seem to know what they need :)
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
January 16th, 2006
We didn't involve much television at all until she could speak. My wife read to her each day whatever it was she was reading along with stories.

I came home one afternoon and found her saying the words of Peter Rabbit along with J reading them, she was 3 then.

We should have used more music.

She had a baby gym thing which variously frustrated and intrigued her, that and grabbing a piece of whichever cat was foolish enough to come within range.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 16th, 2006
I gotta disagree a bit with this "happy-happy kids know exactly what they need; parents don't have to worry about it" vibe.

My son skipped crawling and went straight into walking. Turns out that's a major indicator for gross-motor delay, but we didn't know it. The sooner you get a kid with that kind of thing into physical therapy the easier it is to catch up with the other kids, and the less effect it'll have on fine-motor skills, like writing.

It turned out that his lack of drawing ability (compared to other 3-4 year-olds) was another big sign, if we'd been aware enough to see it.

He's in physical therapy now, and has been for ~3 years, and it's helped a lot (fortunately one of the day-care folks twigged to the problem), but it's a pity to have missed it earlier on.

So, even though you don't want to stress over every little thing, it doesn't hurt to ask someone about the anomalies.
Permalink Gav 
January 16th, 2006
So you had a bum deal. Kids still know what they need, to a large extent.

My daughter's motor skills are a little lagging, but she's doing fine in school, and her handwriting is very good. I just regularly kick her butt at Mario Kart, is all. :-)
Permalink Generic Error 
January 16th, 2006
I am ashamed at my 11 year olds abilities at catching, this is a small thing unless she was going to play cricket and she hates playing all sports except swimming. I believe that's because there are more opportunities for posing.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
January 16th, 2006
Just spend as much time as you can interacting with the kid. Being with others is more important than any toys or gizmos that you expose them to.

Apparently physical contact (the non-abusive kind, of course) is very important for infants and toddlers as well. Babies who are carried around develop more brain connections that those who are parked in a playpen or car seat for long periods of time.

Be there for them in a loving way and they'll develop just fine.
Permalink Dana 
January 17th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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