Care of self and doing 'with' not 'to'
Otis's care of self area. Finally a mirror on the wall. Children love looking at themselves!
A hairbrush and a handkerchief. No tissues here. Otis would either eat it or pull it into a million pieces. I've moved his cube chairs. Now there is one here for dressing and the other is near his toileting area. You could use a stool however at this age when undressing Otis will move around and use the arms of the chair for support. Next to the chair is his wardrobe in which he has access to his clothes basket (which contains only a couple of items of clothing) and his laundry basket.
Otis is an active participant in his personal care. We now change nappies and training pants standing. Otis can take his pants off himself and while I hold the clothing he moves his limbs to get dressed. It's not only for independence it's out of respect. When I look at this little guy I don't only see my son I see a child of the world, I don't only see a child I see a person that I have immense respect for.
Clare from the Pikler collection recently touched my heart by introducing me to the work of Dr Emmi Pikler. There are many similarities between the philosophy of Montessori and Pikler. I love reading about and observing infant development. When it comes to care of self I love this from Parentingworx;
Building a Cooperative relationship with a baby requires that you work together on things. We tend to radically underestimate a baby’s willingness and capability in this area. Pikler saw babies as active participants rather than passive recipients in their care.
All of this requires us to talk to our babies a lot more about what we would like to work with them on – and being patient, giving them time to respond.
For Example: Chloe was nannying 12 months old Angus. His Mum said to Chloe – “He has a runny nose today Chloe – and he hates having it wiped – just do your best”. Chloe noticed that Angus’s Mum would (gently) hold the back of his head with her left hand whilst she wiped with her right hand. Understandably – Angus struggled to escape this ‘lockdown’. When Chloe noticed that his nose was running, she held out a tissue in her open hand. She showed it to Angus and quietly said “Angus . . . . Your nose is runny . . . . we’ll have to wipe it together”. And she waited. Angus looked at the tissue – then looked at Chloe. She still waited. He looked at the tissues again . . . . and then placed his little face down into them so that they could wipe his nose together. To be in the presence of a baby who is given the chance to work cooperatively is a beautiful thing!
Beautiful thing indeed! Here is a discussion regarding Pikler and Montessori from a lovely blog A Pikler Experience.