We all know that part of growing up involves watching others and doing as they do such as walking and talking but it recently occurred to me that my twins have started copying mundane things that we do on a daily basis. My daughter on picking up anything that remotely looks like a telephone (brick bridge?) holds it to her ear and says “ah ya!” closely followed by a long indecipherable monologue, resembling that of Trigger happy’s “I’M ON THE PHONE!!!!”. When running the bath if I forget the bathmat, which I often do, I will hear a SPLOSH! as one of them throws the mat into the bath ready for, as they have come to know it, ‘bath time fun!’. Our mealtimes have become a bit of a messy affair as they insist on feeding themselves and clearing the table after… onto the floor. On finding a brush they will attempt to run it through their hair unfortunately they are not so keen with a toothbrush.
I put it to you… with all these little day to day things being observed and mimicked what else are our children observing, absorbing and getting ready to mimic?
I am returning to work one day (two occasionally) per week. Yesterday morning while I crawled through 24 miles of traffic on route to work for my first day back I had plenty of time to think. In an age of equality for women why does it feel like we are now going backwards? Women fought for the right to return to work, but with the cost of living rising and the government backing childcare do women actually have a choice?
I am fortunate to only have to work occasionally and spend the rest of the time taking care of my family. Some I know have returned to work unwillingly, worrying their way through their maternity leave and crying their way through the mornings of their first weeks and months back at work, their children clinging to their legs as they leave them in the government’s subsidised childcare. Some research claims a link between extended periods of stress caused by separation anxiety and anxiety and depression in early adulthood, with this research emerging should the government also be investing elsewhere? Should the government be preserving the mental health of mums and our next generation by helping mums who chose to stay at home and take care of their children?
Something for the government to consider… when it is too late I suspect!
Some further reading
I love this book, I would recommend everyone gives this a read (child or no child): What every parent needs to know: The incredible effects of love, nurture and play on your child’s development by Margot Sunderland (2007)