HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS!!! Today, I am going to dive into a few of the things we have been doing with David Michael that seem to be working well. I also have listed three New Years Resolutions that I am super excited about! Let me know if you want to join us on any of our resolutions and we can support each other!!!
“HAPPY!!!!” We have reached the most amazing stage of toddler development with this insanely adorable, hat-crazy, abc-lovin’, wild child of mine. He has just recently began to say things like “Me” and “I like!” and let me tell you… it is just so stinking sweet! Potty training is going quite well (more below on that), and we are heavy into counting, the ABCs, and reading everything under the sun.
While I don’t follow any specific principals, here are a few things I have been doing that have been quite successful in his own development.
1. Whatever he loves, we do it often…
David Michael especially loves music, so naturally, we sing like, everything. I have written songs about trucks and hats and laughter and potty behavior and getting dressed. AND IT WORKS. We discovered long ago that he does indeed love to wear hats. Multiple at one time. So, naturally, we tried to have a potty hat to encourage him to go. Oddly enough, he respects his hats so much that he now actually takes them off as soon as he sits down on the potty. (This is probably due in part to an incident with Daddy and a hatty and a drop in the pot… Yep… he dropped a hat in the toilet…. It was not a good day)
I also have been trying to teach him more about counting, so naturally, I wrote him a counting song about hats! It is the cutest song ever and I will post it in another blog post soon!
2. We give him the supports he needs while empowering him to do what he can.
For example, he all of a sudden is really into the ABCs. He frequently will say “ABCs! ABCs!” meaning he wants to sing the ABCs. But instead of just singing the song for him, we have added blank spots to encourage him to fill in parts of the song. This is what it looks like right now:
A B C D E F ____
H I J ___
He says the letters P, S, V, W (HE LOVES W for some reason!), and Z. He also fills in the “ABC’s” part as well as the final word “me.” You can tell just how proud he is that he can sing parts of this song because a) he looks so stinking cute right afterwards with his little chest puffed out and his knowing smile and b) he asks to do it all the time. Sometimes, he is so excited to fill in the letter himself that he interrupts me as I am singing!
3. We review often.
After we were having so much great success with potty training, we had a few days where he seemed to regress. I didn’t understand what was happening and felt powerless to fix it. I soon realized that I had really taken away nearly all of the supports we had put in place previously when he first started potty training. We stopped singing the potty songs, I switched the potty books over to alphabet and numbers books, and we weren’t even praising him as much. I don’t know why we did it this way. As an educator, I know how essential practice and review are to young learners. Once I realized what we had done (or not done), I began casually dropping in a few potty songs and readings every day or so to continue to reinforce the good things David had been doing. This has helped so much and he is doing quite well with it all!
Okay, here is the thing before I finish this post. Today is NEW YEARS DAY 2022!!! So… here are my David Michael / Mommy / ToddlerDoc Resolutions and I urge you to do the same!!
1. 1000 Books Challenge! (Childrens’ Books, that is!)
We are going to read ONE THOUSAND BOOKS this year! (Honestly, we might have already done this last year because that child is OBSESSED with books, but I didn’t count…) That ends up at less than 3 books a day. We can all totally do that!
2. 365 Walks!
Before potty training, we would walk David Michael in his stroller all the time. Since potty training, I have actually put on weight because we aren’t walking as much! This is mainly because he would have an accident nearly every time I would walk him in his stroller, but our physical health as a family is too important to let this stop us. Over the break, we have been taking him on walks but he has been walking. (He is SO SLOW…. BUT, he will get faster and better over time) Walking is so important for his health as well as our own, so I am going to take him for a walk at least once a day (twice more often if possible to make up for potential snowstorms / crazy rainy days).
3. FIFTY TWO Blog Posts
Even if nobody reads them, I am going to post at least one article every week! Even if it is super short! I have recently discovered that I absolutely love writing and we have learned so much as we have watched David Michael grow. I need to be more intentional about documenting all that he is doing and all that we are learning through it all!
Thanks for reading to the end! I hope you have the happiest 2022 filled with growth and laughter and love!