Raising an independent, competent, and alert little being is high on the list of my priorities. At eight months, @deartahvy is self-aware and capable, has an innate drive to be social and autonomous, and understands the majority of what I say to her. She is extremely free-spirited, but takes cautions to keep herself safe from harm.
Babies are immensely intelligent, and the process of understanding this world starts from day one. By giving them an appropriate amount of freedom and risk, they begin to learn to important tools for self-preservation at a young age.
Through our time in the kitchen together, Tahvy understands the concept of “hot” and the dangers it presents. I often cook with her on my hip, so it was imperative for her to listen to my commands and be cautious with items on the stove.
I started teaching her at six months by presenting foods that were warmer than comfortable, and telling her – “hot”. She would reach out to grab them, but as they were still too hot to feel good, she would drop them back on the plate. I showed her how to wait, blow on the foods, and place my hand nearby (but not on) to feel if there is any heat.
It only took a few meals for her to fully understands “hot”. Now, before every meal, she’ll place her hands overtop the food and check to see if there is heat. If it’s hot, she’ll wait for a few moments, and then check again.
If I am cooking with her, I tell her “very hot”, and she’ll keep her hands away from the pan. I feel very comfortable keeping her close to me as we do our chores together.
I personally believe in the merits of teaching our young to navigate the dangers around us, instead of shielding them from the real world. At the same time, they don’t need to be hurt through the process. This is the beauty and the balance of conscious parenting – enough freedom to explore and experience new sensations, enough guidance and support to prevent unnecessary pain.
Every day I marvel at this tiny beloved being, and how deeply intuitive, intelligent, and aware she is. It is such an honour to be by her side, loving her every step of the way. ♥️