Yesterday I read a very good article about a few reasons why children nowadays cannot sit still or stay quite for a moment or two.

It is very delicate how we sometimes do not like to read something that criticises how we parent our children even though is not personal.

But the point is, us mums follow our instincts, read books our entire pregnancy, but truly we only learn how to parent when our baby comes to life. And there is so much info out there that it is hard to know which choice is better for us.

So I find that reading articles form experts in the field is what helps us make the right choices.

Now, when I had my first baby, a little girl, I was fascinated by the whole experience. Not scared, but fascinated. I did have experience with children in general, I knew how to change nappies, how to hold a baby and all that. So that was easy for me.

But, in terms of development I did not know as much as do now.

I remember saying to friends that I did not want to let my baby girl cry not even for a second. So I would run and get things for her all the time.

So, this is what I want to write about today.

Have you noticed how us parents have this instinct where we want to be the saviours of our children?

Have you ever stop to think about how that impact their lives in a long term?

Now imagine if there was somebody around you all day running like a chicken to get EVERYTHING you need? At all times?

As an example: I want a glass of wine now! NOW NOW NOW!!! Then this saviour comes running with the wine for you?

Another example: I want my book NOW. Where is my book? Then again this crazy woman or men comes running in their pajamas with that sleepy face and ‘just-got-out-of-bed’ look, bringing the book to you without even give you the chance to go and look for it?

The thing about children is that, as they have not learnt to speak in their early years, they experiment with sounds as a form of communication. It can be any sound, screaming, mooing, cooing, crying, etc. and us, adults, with all our fears and projections presume in the same second that our poor baby is suffering and crying but the truth is, they are only learning to communicate, trying to express themselves.

So how about we just take a deep breath and count to 10 whilst observing before doing anything? Maybe that little baby pushing himself on the floor to reach the ball will actually get there and learn the beauty of delayed gratification and self appreciation and self contemplation?

Now let’s talk about the toddlers, three and four year olds.

Teaching them how to wait is surely the best lesson for their success in life that you can teach.

Boring things like helping with washing up (plastic safe kitchen utensils), help with the laundry (simple tasks such as put clothes from one side to the other, or in a laundry basket) or simply sit on the sofa when there is nothing to do even if that will take 10 minutes of moaning and trying to get your attention are the first steps to help children develop something called “workability”.

It trains the attention span, concentration, ability to sit still AND creativity. In moments of boredom, amazing artists come up with their best ideas and creations.

It is amazing how we instantly presume children need to do something or leave the house because they are bored. My husband for example does that a lot. He goes: “Ok, let’s do something, the children are bored and complaining too much.”

Another good example: “Ok that’s it, let’s turn the TV on, I cannot have a conversation like that with the children clinging all around us!”

The thing is, this is hard. Sometimes yes, all we want is an adult chat. But if you really just back off and wait, this moment of boredom will pass and they will them get in to something. Find something to do. And then, you can continue the conversation.

The more we “find something” for them to do, the more we try to “get them to do something” the less they will develop their own ability to find something themselves, to stay quite contemplating something, or even nothing, themselves. Ability is something we have to practice to be good at. It doesn’t matter what ability we are referring to, it always takes practice.

Our brain is trainable. And our life experiences is what build our memories and train us for a successful future.

If a child can’t sit still for 10 minutes at home without distractions how can we expect them to be still during class when they are teens for example?

Now, if a child cannot help you with simple tasks such as washing a plastic cup, putting laundry away, put toys away or making their own bed only because they don’t want or is an annoying thing to do, it is boring and it is not fun,  how can we expect them to cope with doing an essay later on in life, which is by far one of the most annoying and hard things to do?

So, going back to the point: WORKABILITY is a skill that takes practice to be developed and it needs to begin during early age. It is NOT something related to early academics skills like many people think.

It starts at home, with the family!

And remember: 85 per cent of our brain develops during the first 3 years of our lives. So this is when we are more likely to help children develop good habits and build those imprinted memories that will last for a lifetime!

If you want to start practicing this and do not know where to begin get in touch! I can help you!

It is never late! Our brain is trainable and better then that: retrainable!! Over and over! Forever!

A good tip to begin with, is to try to delay gratification by a SECOND or TWO. And if tension comes by, take a deep breath, acknowledge feelings by describing what you see without judging and follow through. Remember it is only a second or two. Then slowly start increasing this moment little by little.

I am not saying to make all requests from your child a waiting pain on purpose, but just by keeping this in mind and you will naturally change the way you approach these situations!

With warm wishes

x Mel.