Should I play with my children all day or should I let them explore freely?
If your baby wants to explore or prefers not to
Curiosity about the world does not only depend on movement. The interaction between the adult and the child will motivate exploration both by moving and by preferring to observe and thus they will show us how they feel.
By moving away they are feeling safe with their surroundings, we could get closer if it is a large and public place, however, if we are in a familiar space we encourage their exploration, share looks and express their achievements. If, on the other hand, they resist, appear fearful or shy, they are telling us that we must wait for them, that they are not yet ready to take the next step and that we must be patient.
This is an environment of respect, we must express to them with words that we understand them and with caresses that we accompany them, also, offer them that we can do it together or that we start.
This is how we can accompany your exploration:
Pay attention and let him notice our interest:
- Heading towards the object.
- Naming it.
- Handing it over or pointing it out.
- Give our child time to respond after our response. Taking turns helps us understand what he wants, creating an environment of trust and autonomy, and it is also a first moment to learn to relate to others.
Continue, end or change activity:
- Supporting their signals and sharing their decisions will make us tune in to their motivations.
The way we relate to their motivations will create a connection where the child explores and learns when they feel safe, takes refuge in their parents or caregivers when they feel scared and can explore again when they have been respected and accepted by them. The great learning as parents is knowing when we should intervene and when our children are informing us that they can do it alone, for example, if we see them talking to other children, let them explore new relationships with them.