Let me give you two options for drinking your favorite morning cup of tea. Drink it in one minute OR you pick the cup of tea, feel the warmth of the cup on your hands, you sit down in your balcony, gaze at the beautiful outdoors, look at the beautiful color of the tea that you are holding, close your eyes, smell it, slowly let the tea touch your lips and feel the taste on the insides of your mouth. This would take probably five minutes instead of one. Which one would you prefer? I think the choice is obvious. Then why do we hurry our children?
I can compare the same situation to a child eating a popsicle.
When a child asks for a popsicle, I could do two things; one, buy it, immediately open the cover and then tell the child to eat fast and properly without spilling, give him a tissue to clean the spills. On the other hand, two, I could give the popsicle and just leave the child to enjoy. He would do many things then. He would probably feel how cold it is, maybe put the popsicle in his mouth with the cover on, realize that he cannot eat it and needs to open it. He will then probably try to open it in many different ways unimaginable to you, and then finally when he opens he will maybe start licking, biting, sucking, spilling, and squishing. Maybe drip it all over his clothes, body, hands. Maybe lick his hands, squish the popsicle, see how it comes out through his fingers, put it on the floor, lick the floor, he would maybe do so many things and be one satisfied kid. The immediate result is the same, the child has eaten the popsicle, but if we look deeper we see that the child in the first scenario is not allowed to explore imagine and enjoy because we didn’t slow down and let the child do things at his pace. And sadly, this is what we do to our child every minute of the day.
Slowing makes the child in control of the situation and when he feels in control, he is confident, he is able to do things many times better and different from what he would normally do. We provide opportunities for him to think on his own.
Slowing down helps a child observe, connect and feel the environment with all his senses. When a child is able to observe and connect, he is able to explore more and develop better ideas, and different ideas. He is able to find new solutions, think creatively, and develop the confidence to solve his problems.
We could do ten different activities with our child, all with the same rhythm and idea of getting it done; OR we could slow down, pause, and just let the child be. Then, even if he picks one thing that he wants to do, but does it at his own pace, we give him the power to reach for the stars!