Florence Morning News Newspaper Archives Jul 10 1955, Page 35

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Florence Morning News (Newspaper) - July 10, 1955, Florence, South CarolinaStraining swinging and swaying Al most falling As he worked to pull him self up. My Muscles stretched with his strained to swing him in when he swayed out. I had to fight to keep my big hands off and my big Mouth shut. Made it. My Triumph came when i was Able to set him Back Down on the floor we could both go through the ordeal again. After three Days of this John had Learned to climb. After a whole year of watching our son grow and learn and do things for himself i knew enough to keep my helping hands to myself while he went ahead on his own. Long before he could look me in the Eye and say i recognized a determined yell or an angry cry As an assertion of Independence. Now i m willing to go along with what John is trying to i find out what it is. And i m proud of his Independence and sturdy self Reliance. How can a Parent encourage a baby to develop these qualities judging by my own experience you Don t have to encourage just have to keep out of its Way. But there Are Many things parents can do. Here Are some of the things we tried. Space first of All there was the matter of providing space to live in. When John was born we decided that this was going to be his House too. We agreed that we would arrange and run it for him As Well As for ourselves. After All we had a baby. Why try to live As though we did t have we put a folding Gate on the door and turned my office which was also our living room into a big play pen. The Hardwood floor was easy to keep clean and our unstained and unvarnished furniture was practically baby proof. Most important of All John had room to do things. Things in addition to space a baby needs things to do with. John had the usual number of toys which he used Over and Over. He pushed them pulled them pounded them and piled them. His first favorite playthings weren t toys at All but tin for Mula cans. Some babies choose pots and pans or similar objects. And Why not if they like pans or pie tins Why not buy some just for them so they can Pound and Dent them to their hearts Content John tried to play with our books so we gave him some pocket size paper bound books of his own and a Small shelf to put them on. Other objects seemed important too. Chairs were Good not Only for learning to climb but also for pushing across the room rag rugs for stuffing into Cor ners drapes for hiding behind. The list of things with which if you let him a baby can exercise ingenuity and practice Independence could go on Cartons rub Ber bands empty typewriter ribbon spools practically anything around the House that a baby can t Hurt too much and that can t seriously Hurt him. Helps if i had been More ingenious and handier with tools i could have made a lot of things to help John in his quest for Independence. The one help i made that really worked was a Small Stool. It was pretty crude but by standing on it in the bathroom he could reach the soap and the faucets. He was thrilled to be Able to turn the water on and off himself and tried washing his hands without help. This accomplishment like All the others meant More work for me. I had to mop up the water he splashed around but it was Worth 1l i nailed a Towel rack and Hung a Towel where he could reach it not that he used i put up a Hook for his Toothbrush and a Mirror he could see. T Cut a card table Down to his size and set aside space for him to use in the Bookcase and the record Cabinet and the Kitchen cupboard. All these helps made it possible for him to reach things and hold things and do things time Ami Money does an infant s Independence Cost Money yes a Little. And i at least had to get used to the idea that broken toys smashed cups and dishes spilled puddings strained liver on the floor and soap and tooth paste Down the Drain should legitimately be charged to the Cost of raising a child. To deny him the right to spill milk or Experiment with tooth paste i finally realized would be much like buying an older child a handsome Box of for bidding him to use them. Time is important. Sometimes it was hard for me to give the extra time it took for him to Wash his own hands or feed himself. I admit i cheated sometimes and slipped a spoonful in his Mouth before he could Stop me. Before he could walk i could hardly wait for him to Start after he had Learned As we slowly made our Way to meet Loretto s train i often re called the Happy Carefree Days when i could plop him Down in the old buggy and Roll along As fast As i wanted to. At Loretto s suggestion i finally allowed 15 extra minutes for the three Block trip and gave up urging cajoling and threatening him. He needed time for himself too. Free uninterrupted a interfered with time to Experiment with his blocks to test his tin cans to try out his plastic cars. He needed time in which to be Independent. All in All it was an interesting experience for me As a father having a baby in my office at Home. It was challenging too and exciting. The sternest Challenge was learning that even an infant is an Independent per son with full rights to his own life Liberty and Pursuit of happiness no Mote fears from in Ifie eyes baby wont Burn i shampoo or irritate eyes leaves hair easy of comb pure gentle Safe wonderful for Al the family july 10. 1935 family it wkly Magazine

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