Trust Yourself

in Everyday Learning

potspansI wonder if Dr. Spock was right after all when he said, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think.”

Walk into any baby mega-store and you can hear the layers of merchandise scream, “This is what you need.” An entire industry preys on parental fear and anxiety. Parents fear if they do not get it all “right,” their child will suffer. But that’s all hype. You don’t need an extravagant TP Saver to keep toilet paper in place or an $800 stroller to transport your baby and the contents of her bedroom. The basics are just fine.

With four children and a busy household, I learned how saucepans are fantastic for a little one to fill and dump. Even the kitchen sink, a few measuring cups and the feel and sound of water, were perfect for a child’s imagination. Our old card table was a fort one day and a puppet stage the next. We just wanted the basics of quality time to sit on the floor and play wild animals or build block towers, and to read magical storybooks together.

That’s how children learn best, with hands-on learning and an involved parent. Dr. Spock was right. Trust yourself when you walk into those baby stores. You know more than you think.

“Most of us feel the pangs and then figure out some happy medium. We hyperventilate, we overbuy, and then we get a talking-to by a friend, a mother or a pediatrician and we self-correct.” —Kate Zernike

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