I’m sure you are very familiar with that saying. Maybe what the doctor ordered was taking some extra vitamins, taking some time for yourself to destress and unwind, or something else that was vital to your health.
Following the doctor’s orders sometimes isn’t always easy, and sometimes the orders are not necessarily for your direct benefit, but that of someone else’s. There is someone else who’s’ health you have to think about too. That of your baby. Every parent does. But, what is the very best thing you can do to help your child’s growth and development?
When I was an expectant mother doctor’s orders was something that I was vigilant to follow. After all, I was responsible for that life inside me! Everything I ate and did affects him and still does today. If there was something that I could have done then, or can do today (other than parental vitamins, exercise, eating right, etc.) I would! As I am confident, any parent would. So what did my doctor recommend that still is in effect today? For me to talk out loud to him every day.
Okay seems easy enough, a little silly at first, but easy peasy, right? WRONG! To narrate my day out loud so our son would not only recognize my voice but would help him to develop was harder than it seemed. I felt silly saying things like Okay, so mommy is opening a can of wet food for the kitties, but not salmon. Bailey doesn’t like anything that is salmon flavored. Come to think of it, what type of cat doesn’t like salmon? Well, this one right here! Her name is Bailey, and you will get to meet her very soon!
Even though I did what the doctor ordered, trying to continue a one-sided conversation throughout the day with someone who never talked back was a real challenge. Honestly, I started to feel like I was going crazy talking to myself out loud when I was alone. It can still be challenging at times, but now I’m embraced my inner crazy and narrate everything I do every moment of the day to Levi, even babbles back at me now. We are having deep and meaningful conversations too, sadly, I am not always able to decipherer what he says to me, so when that happens, I like to believe he is telling me to eat some more chocolate. After all, who am I to argue with such wise advice? I mean I don’t want to be rude and ignore his suggestion.
I will say some of the looks I get when at the store, and I’m holding up two shirts asking which one he likes better, is priceless! I have people staring at me like I’m talking to my imaginary friend. Apparently, they are not thinking about the benefits of talking, and explaining things to young children, even before they can express themselves back. When you speak, read, and sing with your child—even before they can use words—you’re helping them learn.
I would also sing to different things, and still do. From singing along to the radio to making up our own silly songs, we have fun. Singing helps to vary things for me, and I’m sure that our little guy appreciates the change of pace as well. There was something else too. It’s our favorite thing; it’s not high tech. It’s not expensive. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and it’s not hard to do. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is the number one activity parents can do to ensure the health and development of their children. What is it? Reading.
Most of us take reading for granted, despite the fact that we quickly recognize how important reading is to every aspect of our lives. However, reading doesn’t just happen. I am sure you are familiar with the quote by Emilie Buchwald
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
A child becomes a reader through a growing process that begins even before birth. My husband and I read out loud every day once we learned we were expecting. A habit that has carried over after birth, and we aim never to stop. Thinking back to when I was pregnant and the response to our reading aloud to him was incredible!
The way he jumped and wiggled to the different tones of our voices as we read was indescribable. David even noticed the difference in how our son responded when he read out loud to him versus just speaking. An emotional bond between the two of them had already grown, and grows stronger with each passing day. I couldn’t imagine, nor wait to see the changes once he was holding him in his arms and read to him. Seeing it today is more precious and priceless than I could have imagined.
Growing up I was not a big fan when it came to reading, mostly because I wasn’t very good at it. It had nothing to do with lack of books, I just simply didn’t have much of desire for reading. I preferred doodling art to reading a book. As I grew things shifted, and I found enjoyment in reading. Even though at first I was not a big fan of reading, looking back, some of my most treasured memories are those of my parents reading to, or with me.
When I was expecting, I wanted to do everything in my power to ensure that our son started off on the best road in life. Two things in our family were vital I feel to achieving that. 1. Providing an excellent spiritual routine right from the start. 2. Reading daily to him. It’s nothing hard, or expensive to do, but would afford him the best in life. Giving him the best start possible is what any parent would want, am I right? Looking back over these past ten months, I am happy to say we have achieved what set out to do, and are looking forward to
Looking back over these last ten months, I ‘m glad to say we have reached what set out to do, and are looking forward to the progress that is ahead to come. Like any expectant parent, I was a mixed pile of emotions from anxiety to joy and everything else in between. Nothing has changed, each day I experience those same feelings. That’s okay, though; everything turns out wonderful and perfect in its unique way. And I will continue to do just as the doctor ordered!