Most of L's friends right from the beginning have been about six months older than her. Since moving to Canada L has had two close friends (both girls) who are six months older, one who has been immersed in the Montessori Method since birth.
I think because L's language and communication skills developed so early I often tend to forget how old she really is. Only 31months. Over the past few months I've been struggling with the fact that she just didn't want to get dressed or put on her shoes although she was completely capable. Now just a few months later it's like a light has been switched on. L loves to pick out her own clothes, put them all on by herself, get undressed, put her clothes in the laundry basket, put away her clean laundry and put her pajamas on all by herself. This just happened.
I am a first time mom with little to no experience with toddlers before L so I really have nothing before her to go on. I just find her personal and natural development astounds me and constantly reminds me to just chill out. It will all happen when it's supposed to. No wonder her friends all wanted to put their clothes on independently. They're six months older! It has nothing to do with skill it's the time in their development when they naturally WANT to do something on their own.
I think sometimes being a mother trying to incorporate the Montessori Method into our everyday lives I try to get L to be too independent. I have no training and I find it's a very fine line between letting a child do it themselves and trying to get a child to do it themselves. With things like getting dressed I just didn't know it would happen like that until it happened. I guess with me it's all a learning curve and it's all about observing and reacting. Wow just think of all of the benefits a second child would get from my knowledge!!
On the other hand I would also like to say that I believe in giving L activities that will help her develop skills she hasn't yet mastered. A natural progression of activities. For example reading. I know people have different opinions on early reading etc. but if a child has learned all of her letter sounds by 24 months then the natural progression is to move on to letter sorts and then when that is mastered on from there. I think if a child masters a skill they should be introduced to the next step whatever age they are and they will show you if they are ready to take it.
Pilar from Montessori Matters just wrote a wonderful post along the same lines and there is also a great post over at Real Life Montessori.
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