I am the oldest of three boys. The first born son on my father’s side of the family. The Golden Boy – the world revolved around me… As more and more children and grandchildren arrived, the number of photos, the amount of effort in first birthday parties, the super parenting in general, declined.
It is not that the other siblings were loved less; I think the rest of us just wore my parents down! At least that is how I rationalize my change in parenting over the years. As baby number four makes her way into Toddlerdom, I find myself pushing less to make her walk (Nathan, our Golden Boy, ran at 10 months!), as well as so many of the things we insisted our other children (at least the Golden Boy) do as early as possible.
The word toddle is defined as walking unsteadily. We affectionately call it the Frankenstein Walk. Maybe a duck waddling? See the video above. The growth stage from 9-18 months is an amazing time to watch and participate in the gross motor skill development of your child.
One of the first steps in encouraging independent, active play is to ensure a safe environment. Sit down on the ground and get a toddler-eye view of the world. Does your butt get sore sitting there? Put down some cushy play mats or a learning carpet. Square-edge coffee table or hardwood entertainment center? Throw down some pillows or play cushions.
The main idea is to get your toddler moving! Being active is natural. It is imperative to create a fun, safe environment that encourages active play. An active child is a healthy child. A healthy child is a happy child. And a happy child equals a happy parent!