How do you track your child’s development and day when they are with your helper?
For those of us with helpers, we know they play an important part in our children’s lives and even often help with parenting. Sometimes, we do wonder what happens when we’re not around and the helpers are in charge. Victoria Yim from The Bright Life gives us her must-ask questions to help get a better sense of our child’s day and how we can encourage our helpers to be better at being our eyes and ears in our absence.
Click through our gallery to learn the top 5 things to be asking your helper!
Because of the amount of time some of our helpers spend with our little ones, they are in a great position to give us precious insights. On a recent playdate with his friends, my helper noticed that my son enjoyed painting, in addition to the crayons we had at home. This was great news to me because we had been waiting to introduce a different medium to him! It’s also helpful when it comes to knowing what your child is currently keen on so that you can plan for more of such activities to satisfy their curiosity.
This question is for the sake of my sanity because late naps means there will be hell to pay come nighttime. It becomes an impossible task of putting a child who’s wide awake to sleep, and the whole routine gets messed up and I get cranky…you get the picture. It also helps you gauge whether anything else in the day needs to be adjusted in order to accommodate naptime, and preps you for transitions like when your child is ready to drop a nap. Sometimes, shorter naps also mean that odd in-between nap at 5pm. To overcome this, I distract my son with a visit to the playground so we can keep him awake long enough until a decent time for when he can just go to bed for the night.
It’s tough looking after kids – we all feel tired at some point. Asking this helps identify any potential areas which you might need to offer more support/change a routine for the sake of your child (or helper). I realised I wasn’t the only one having a hard time feeding my son dinner, and when my helper told me that there were days it took close to an hour of trying, we decided that we needed to bring dinner time forward. I suspected that he was too tired to muster up the discipline needed to sit in his chair and finish his meal. So far, so good; it’s been working and I’m not going to jinx it.
This is a great question to encourage helpers to observe the child more, and also contribute to the child’s environment in a positive way. Sometimes it takes a little coaxing to get an answer that would enable you to take action, so when I first started asking this question, I usually already had a few observations in mind I knew we have both witnessed, and would expand on that.
Another way I do this is to also let her know when I’m making an observation so she can be a part of my thought process. Something like, “He seems to be quite good at these activities now. Do you think he is ready for something more challenging?” and then we can proceed to discuss how we can introduce something more challenging.
Ask this question when you’ve introduced something new into your child’s routine. Whether it’s introducing a new dish, or maybe a new activity or even when it’s raining out and you’ve had to change the usual afternoon playground sesh into indoor painting. This helps me gauge how receptive my son is to this new thing I’ve introduced, and then adjust accordingly. It was through this question that I know it’s impossible for us to skip outdoor time even when it rains, so now we take him downstairs to run around in the covered areas – it still offers him a way to explore and get some of that boundless energy out of his system without having to hear us say ‘no’.
The Bright Life runs regular helper workshops to ensure that our helpers feel supported in their engagement with our children. The helper edition of our signature Montessori-based parenting workshop, The Way of Eight©, focuses on building the communication, observation and interaction skills. Visit www.welcometothebrightlife.com for more details.
Lead image and image #2 by Sassy Mama Singapore and may not be used without prior permission; all other images sourced via Getty