Friday, February 11, 2011

"Mom, Please Let Me Work!"

I've noticed that Ty has been feeling a little out of sorts lately, sometimes more than a little. He's always been a child who's tuned-in on many levels and channels all at once, not able to help seeing, hearing, and physically and emotionally feeling everything around him with intensity. Often this just leads to curiosity and exploring, though it seems that when you combine this constant alertness with feeling tired, hunger, teething pain, or a change of routine, he becomes overwhelmed and doesn't know what to do with himself. Attempting to get Tyler to nap on his own without co-sleeping lately has led to shorter naps and thus, a tired little boy who feels frazzled quite a bit.

After reading "The Absorbent Mind" and realizing that when Tyler feels and acts this way, he needs work (i.e. the Q-tip blog), has been so enlightening and helpful to us all. While Tyler became bored with the Q-tip activity quickly, filling glass containers with gems has become a huge favorite. This is not to say that we don't also provide quiet snuggles on the couch, reading and singing, but Ty is understanding that are other ways to become balanced. outside of us..

For a few days, we rolled out his rug and gave him this work when he was feeling overwhelmed, and he would gladly take to it, leaving it when he felt centered and happy. Now he is noticing his own emotions and realizing what he needs to do in order to feel better and he's actually requesting, if not begging, for the activity. As the gems are small and require supervision, it is on top of a bookshelf just out of his reach, but he has no problem letting us know his wishes. At times he will also pull his rug from behind the chair, or if it's still out (oops) he will catch our eye and sit on it with a hopeful look. It is amazing to me that at 17 mos old he is not only recognizing his own emotions, but knowing what to do in order to relieve himself of them. I know adults who can't do this!

I'm left thanking all of my lucky stars for Maria Montessori, as well as feeling happy for my child on his journey towards self-soothing and emotional regulation (something my sensitive sweetie has always struggled to manage on his own).  I'm proud of you Tyler!


  1. Can you explain some the work mat to me? I assume it is a quite place as well as a signal to Ty that it is time to focus? Thanks! Ashley

  2. When Ty is a bit older and choses a work, he will unroll his rug and place the work on the rug and keep it there. That his designated work space and no one is to enter that space or disturb him unless invited. When finished, he will put the work and rug away. We help him with this now and at times and when we see he needs a work or I'm going to start a lesson we get the rug out as a sigal and he's usually very excited!