One-on-One Time

Something I’ve started doing recently is spending one-on-one time with Coco. We need to do this much more frequently because it always has a really good effect on her mood and disposition. She is a very verbal and creative storyteller as she gets older. It’s amazing how during that period from birth-to-six, what Montessori defined as the first plane of development, children are truly in the moment and concerned with the physical world. Then, in the second plane from six-to-twelve, they really do change their focus. In the first plane, Montessori said the child seeks to wrap his hand around the world. Theo is definitely there, making “stew” out of things he finds in the garden in a sand bucket. But in the second plane of development, Montessori said the child seeks to wrap her mind around the world. And Coco is definitely there. She is imaginative and coming up with ideas and theories about everything. Without one-on-one time to listen and give her space to share her big thoughts and ideas, she gets understandably frustrated.

When we nearly went back to Switzerland in 2017, Coco had not yet entered the second plane of development. She was still very much in the first plane and her needs and desires seemed simpler and easier to meet. As we look forward and consider going abroad again, I can see how moving with children - older children who are aware and grasp the reality of changing continents, languages and cultures - is an entirely different ball game. Still, I’m grateful for her experiences here and I’m happy that both she and Theo will have had time at her school before we take off again on our next Expat adventure. And I’m glad that they’ll have that, too. In a way, going when they’re both in the second plane and ready to wrap their minds around the world will be the perfect time - completely in line with their developmental stage.

For now, we’ll keep doing our one-on-one Mama and Coco days, and I’ll continue to encourage her imagination and creativity. Parenting is constantly changing, but it never decreases in time commitment or effort, does it? Luckily it’s as rewarding as it is demanding!


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