Who says a one year old cannot understand or follow directions? Who says he can’t learn words and sounds? Many people think children cannot begin to understand language and form thoughts until they are two or certainly older than 18 months. My “little big boy” has been teaching me that children can learn as early as twelve months. My little boy began walking and running around 14 months which isn’t strange, but he surprised me when he began saying words that make sense. When it’s bedtime, he will say “night, night” and automatically blows a kiss. When it’s time to eat, he goes to the kitchen and waits at “his” chair for someone to put him in it. When it’s time to leave the house, he looks for his shoes. When he gets in trouble, he knows where his “time out” chair is in his room and will sit there until he is released. He can empty a whole box of crayons and put them back in the box. He continues to amaze me because he understands a lot of what is going around him and can already “communicate” with us. We’re using this time to introduce the ABC’s and numbers. There’s no need to wait until age 2 or 3 to begin teaching children concepts they will need the rest of their lives. How many times have we hindered a child’s progress we waited until we thought they were ready to learn?
So my point is this: don’t miss an opportunity to teach your child something because you don’t think they are ready or because you don’t want to spend the time teaching them. Make the time to invest in your children, even as early as infancy. Once you have planted the seeds of learning, they are rooted in their brains and will eventually harvest. Make the most of every opportunity!
~Coletta Jones Patterson