mama_the_explorer mama_the_explorer

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Paula Peralejo-Fernandez πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­  Smooth rides, tumbles, and turns of this crazy and exciting journey called Motherhood. Main IG: @paulatheexplorer πŸ“©: mamatheexplorer@gmail.com

http://www.mamatheexplorer.com/

See you @theparentingemporium tomorrow! Will be selling some of Pablo's clothes that don't fit him anymore. I keep clothes I really loved on him and were extra memorable, but it would be too much to keep them all! 😱 What we do with his things that have been sold is that we keep his money in his bank account, and when that reaches our target amount, we will invest it for a longer-term investment most especially since he is still so young (to give more value for his money)! πŸ’› If you'd like to do the same or something similar for your child (invest enough for education / trust fund / etc), message me! My husband can help you in that aspect. 😍 PS: You can also have a 15-min photoshoot tomorrow for PHP 1500. The money will go to Baby Yanna's second liver transplant. Contact @theparentingemporium for details!

I think having an older "sibling" (that's still a child) can greatly influence a younger child's interests, and this is (I think) similar to Maria Montessori's concept of a multiage group in a classroom. We put out the slide yesterday because Pablo's cousin @philipbonifacio was here. I knew it when I saw Pablo watching Philip playing with the slide that he would try it, too - and I was right. He did go up! And went down! He slipped when he was very near the mat but he was able to go down. I was not in the room when this happened, but when I went in, he did it again! The second time around though, he kept saying "mama" when he reached the top, so I picked him up from the top.😜 #8months #almost9months

Recently, @diycorporatemom wrote about the beauty of really following the child.
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"But most of all, I've discovered it's a gift of beautiful freedom. Because she can move, she can choose, and because she can choose, she can move! In this captured moment, her choices were so so clear. I wonder if I had put her in a crib or a play yard that limited her choices, she would probably have no choice but to stand and walk sooner."
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She is so on point. Pablo may be as what people like to say, "advanced" in some matters - rolling over early, crawling early, standing & climbing, etc. But to be honest, "advanced" is not what I'd like him to be - I'd like him to do what his inner drive is telling him to.
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Some of you have read this before, but repeating it here: Pablo crawled before he sat! He wasn't sitting at 6 months old. He couldn't balance himself at all. He didn't show any signs of wanting to sit at 6 months. And then he learned to crawl, and that moment, it was so clear to me what following the child means: it means respecting his choices even if they're not the popular ones (most parenting guides I subscribe to talk about babies sitting at 6 months!). I was thinking, maybe he worked hard on crawling because he wanted to follow me whenever I walked away from him; something was driving him to learn it over other skills. Did it worry me when he wasn't showing signs that he wanted to sit? Other than he might choke when he ate, no. I respected his timeline and waited for him. And one day, he just surprised me that he was sitting upright!

Before I became a parent, I thought having an "advanced" child was the goal. But now that I'm a mom, I can honestly say that doesn't matter to me anymore. We all eventually get there. Some of you say he might be walking soon - but if he chooses not to even after he turns 1, that is more than fine with me. I don't need to put him in walkers to "speed up" the process. He has, after all, a lifetime to walk! He can make his choice - and I will leave it up to him. As a parent, I can now see how things and perspectives change a whole lot when you understand how much more important it is to respect your child.πŸ’› PS: video is 6-mo-old Pablo

How does a 'mover' work on fine motor skills? This. Apparently, babies can also multitask.🀣 #8months

While I try to refrain from saying "good job!" or the like (you can search online why this can be a negative thing for your child in the long run), sometimes, I can't help but tell him he's awesome! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜œ #8months

We may have skipped on the object permanence box (my DIY versions aren't interesting him enough), but everyday, him looking for me even when he can't see me is enough for me to think he really has it already (object/person permanence). For the past month or so, he'd crawl from this room to the other door through this sliding door in the video (to go to me when I'm there). Last night though, he was really waiting at the door and knocking and saying "mama". He was crying, though. πŸ’” Here's him doing it again this morning. I wanted to go to him right away but since he wasn't really crying, I decided to take a video first. PS: I don't know if you can see it in the video, but he was trying to slip his fingers between that small sliding door space. ☺️ #8months #almost9months

It took awhile to register to us that Pablo's been pulling himself up using just flat walls. He's been doing it for a while but dint think much of it, until I thought how I would have a hard time if it were me (babies are amazing!) In this video, we caught him traversing, and then falling - but this is my favorite part of letting him explore and fall -- look at his reaction when he fell.😜 #8months

What I've noticed today is that there are 2 main voices when it comes to parenting: the ones that say "this is the best & only way!", and the ones who want say "just do what works for you." Which group do I want to be in? I want to be in the group who understands that while we all make our own choices & that we cannot force everyone to do the same, we accept the truth, even if it's not what we choose to do.

For me, truth #1 is, while we can do what works for us, it doesn't mean what we choose is the best, or even right. Think of it like eating - we can eat processed food & eat organic meals. At the end of the day, we will not go to bed hungry. BUT it doesn't mean their value is the same, or that there's no difference in the effects in the long run. Giving sweets or providing gadgets all day to make children stop "bugging" you always works (possibly for any family)-it doesn't mean it's right nor healthy!

Parenting truth #2: There are some ways that are really better scientifically speaking - natural birth, breastfeeding, no use of walkers (will do another post for this), no screentime for as long as possible, no salt nor sugar in baby food! Just because we are not able to do it means we have to be sensitive & defensive when others share why these are encouraged. I wanted an all-natural birth. I prepared for it mentally and physically. Did I achieve it? No. Do I now feel like "giving birth in any way is best!" just because I wasn't able to do it naturally? NO! If I were to give birth again, I'd still try for as natural as possible.
Anyway, I brought this up because I really liked reading this article: https://yourot.com/parenting-club/2017/5/24/what-are-we-doing-to-our-children

As much as it sounds great to hear, "We're all doing what we think is best for our kids. That's all that matters." when we feel lost, I would very much rather hear the truth - that just like in all aspects in our life, there are better ways to do things. "Help me learn them, so I may become a better person and consequentially, a better mother for my child." is what I will tell you. If you're the same kind of parent, then read on.😊

When I first read the lines (maybe not exactly but similar) "The discovery righyfully belongs to the child.", I started thinking about all the times I taught a child something, and how I stole so much from them without being aware of it. You can't help it, well-meaning people around you will somehow "teach" your child how something works, but I encourage you - hold off as much as you can! Glad to have caught this on video - Pablo's first time to discover how a closet works. His reaction: priceless!!! I promise from this day on not to ever steal the discovery from the child. πŸ’› #Montessori #RIE #8months

Prepared Environment - if you were to follow only ONE Montessori principle, I would say go for this. Of course it's a whole philosophy in itself, and are all linked and related that it'd be hard to just follow just one, BUT, it can be quite overwhelming, so you can start slowly while you read more (I still have so much to read and learn)! Here is the evolution of Pablo's room from birth (he is 8 months now): 1. Before birth - floor bed from birth, no big mats yet, shelf was whole but I designed it in such a way that the upper shelf could be detached in case the whole shelf got too overwhelming for a small baby. His small mat for movement and mobiles was on the other corner (not seen in photo) where a mirror was also placed so he can get a mental map of the room.

2. When he was starting to move more - I took out the lower shelf and hid it first, got the upper part, put a mat beside the bed and a mirror, too. This way, he could also get familiar with the depth of our bed to his movement area.

3. When he was learning to sit - I didn't change the setup, but changed the mat to a much thicker one. He kept tumbling when he was learning to sit; I felt the thin mat wasn't enough (I'd get nervous), so I changed it
to a thicker one and let him tumble as much as he needed.

4. He used the shelf to practice going up with his hands and knees. After a while, he could really go up and explore the back part of the photo, and it wasn't safe anymore (there's a fan there, humidifier, etc). So... 5. I took out the shelf there and replaced it with a sturdy Pikler triangle, and a table with small chairs underneath to cover the aircon wire. I also put another mirror on top plus a pull-up bar because he was already pulling himself up with everything including cardboard boxes.

6. I put the shelf back to its original design,
placed the steps as "bridge" between the two mats, and carefully curate his shelf.

Oops, I uploaded the wrong video (the one before this). This is what I was talking about - him practicing how to hold a cup properly. πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›#8months

After constant modeling and patience, he finally got the cup the way it should be for drinking! Yes, water still spills, but he's been practicing how to pick it up correctly since this morning. He used to just get the shotglass and stick the bottom part in his mouth, and I wasn't sure how long he'd be doing it. A beautiful surprise for us today indeed! #8months #almost9months

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