In my experience of working with babies, I recently observed a very beautiful reaction from a little boy age 5 months.
This child has been opening to the world over the past weeks, and eagerly exploring his prepared environment since he mastered the skill of crawling.
Once able to roll over, he quickly moved on to wanting to move freely in his space. In this process, I would notice reactions of frustration along with a remarkable ability to focus and persevere. This would generally last for several long minutes until the physical exhaustion would take over.
Then, all happy and determined, he would start all over again the next morning, refreshed and refilled with appetite for self-growth.
In the span of two weeks he achieved great progress and is now able to crawl on any surface. We have helped his movements by removing socks and letting him occasionally move in romper so his knees would feel the floor and have grip on it instead of slipping.
As I was seated next to him observing him crawling, he became interested in a wooden red ball. The ball was still too big for him to grasp with his little hands so each time he would get close to it – after a lot or efforts- and try to grab it the ball would start rolling again and get far away from the little boy. I expected reactions of frustration, even tears of anger, or gazes in my direction asking for my help.
None of this happened.
The child pursued the ball for about 15 minutes until he lost interest in it – at no point did he look at me for comfort of support. Instead I noticed how willing he was to hold this ball and understand what it was. He was resolute and fiercely pertinacious.
If I had reacted when he was pausing to gather energy after the ball rolled over, or when he was considering whether or not he would keep on following the ball, I would not have observed such an independent, purposeful behaviour.
This child would have been robbed with his free will and would not have been able to develop freely his personality, nor resilience in the face of adversity.
This is what happens when adults rush in to rescue young children, when they assume the child demands rescuing.
Very young babies are devoid of needy behaviours towards others, and when we let them explore freely, move freely in an environment that is appropriate and conducive to their growth we observe extremely capable individuals with deep interest for the materials and life around them, beings full of ardent desire to comprehend the world around them.
It is imperative to learn to properly read babies cues, so they can develop a healthy relationship to their caregivers, and naturally learn to detach from them.
It is our mission as adults to know better and react accordingly if we want to raise joyful and balanced children.
Caring for the Gifted Child