One of the children that we have cared for as houseparents and that we continue to help as a daughter has a son that is 26 months old. They live in the house we own and we care for him when his mom is at work. He calls me B-poo, why B-poo and not Grandpa I will never know, because my wife gets to be Grandma. Next to his mother I am his favorite person and some days I get the top spot in his life.
He loves spending time with us and his mother, and we all love helping him learn stuff. He walks, he talks in complete sentences, he knows every one of his body-parts, he knows some of his colors (blue, yellow, red, green, & white, he peddles a tricycle, and loves driving his little green battery powered tractor I bought him for his birthday and until today I thought we was just another normal boy.
Today I met a young man that is about one month younger than my grandson but I was sure he was at least a year younger. His mannerisms seemed much more immature, he only knows two words (Blanket and the name of a very popular yellow square shaped animated sea creature), and his motor skills are way behind where my grandson’s are. I learned that his parents don’t spend a lot of time interacting with him and he spends a great deal of time by himself in front of the TV.
He was an adorable child, and we hit it off pretty well. His aunt was somewhat amazed at how he took to me, she said he is usually very shy around new people. I very much enjoyed playing with him.
I have however, been unable to get him off my mind all day. I am absolutely amazed at the difference between him and my grandson. I honestly feel very sad for this young child, but it has reinforced in me the importance of personal one-on-one interaction with the children we care for, whether it be our birth children, grand-children or the children entrusted to us.
Please keep the following points in mind:
- Televisions do not provide interaction.
- We can’t teach the children if we don’t spend personal one-on-oneÂ time with them.
Go spend some time with your children, you will be surprised by the results.