Tips/studies/articles to help put myself in my 1 year old's shoes?
December 14, 2012 5:47 AM   Subscribe

Tips/studies/articles to help put myself in my 1 year old's shoes?

My son is getting to an age where he's really engaged with the world. He's learnt his first few words, has taken his first tentative steps and he's recently joined nursery a few days a week, independent of his mother and I. I have these occasional moments where I see something as he would have seen it, like the moment we turned our christmas tree lights on and blew his mind, or the time we tried to tell him he wasn't allowed to smash the laptop on the wall and he looked as though his world had ended... all very normal stuff.

But I'm also conscious that whilst we're doing our absolute best for him to be attentive, responsible parents, there are times when I can't begin to think from his perspective. This is such a critical formative time in his life that I really want a better "top-down" understanding of how the world looks as a 1 year old. I have many of the standard parenting books and have read endless webpages, but the majority give hints and inferences to the way the young mind works, every three chapters dropping a nugget, but no solid overview.

So can you give me a more general model of how my son's world looks to him, or suggest where I can find one? Something which doesn't require a PhD in paediatric neuroscience or psychology would be ideal, but equally I'm happy to get the dictionary out!

Standard disclaimer - every person, of every age is different, thinks and acts differently. I'm just interested in the shared psychology of young thought/action/experience.
posted by tzb to Human Relations (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I think one of the big differences is their experience of time passing. I think I have read somewhere that one minute for them is like one hour for an adult or something like that.
posted by Grither at 6:06 AM on December 14, 2012

As a kid, the world is full of completely inexplicable things; the laws of physics are all new and exciting; everything may as well be magic. Your understanding of these things is all acquired from the Gods, personified as the adults around the house, whose explanations of the world are the only Gospel and whose approval is one of the very few things in life that Matters.

Robots, flying snowmen, cars, talking badgers, and dedicated people in a funny uniform who bring the post, are all equally amazing and equally (im)plausible. Dark characters from stories are also very plausible, giving rise to much concern about the giant evil badgers, dinosaurs, wolves, foxes, and bears that might live near your house.

On a different tack, crawling around your home with your head at your kid's height may give you a new perspective on everything!
posted by emilyw at 6:08 AM on December 14, 2012

Best answer: This is the book you want. Good stuff.
posted by judith at 6:16 AM on December 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

I loved Louise Bates Ames year-by-year books for this kind of stuff. I didn't think she had one for one year olds, but she does. I can't speak to this one, but the 2 and 3 year old ones are great.
posted by looli at 6:18 AM on December 14, 2012

Marguerite Kelly has a good column in the Washington Post that mitt fit the bill.
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:34 AM on December 14, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, some great insight.

Judith - that looks perfect. In the UK it's titled Early Intelligence - one copy ordered. Thank you!

Looli - that one looks very practical which I think could be useful as well.
posted by tzb at 6:36 AM on December 14, 2012

Someone mentioned What is My Baby Thinking? to me - I haven't read it, but might be worth you looking at.
posted by paduasoy at 6:52 AM on December 14, 2012

You might also enjoy A Thousand Days of Wonder.
posted by hungrybruno at 6:57 AM on December 14, 2012

I signed up for a monthly (I think. . .baby Marmot is 3 in January) newsletter from Zero to Three and got a lot of great tips on infant/toddler development from there. One of the newsletter sections is always from the baby's point of view--so what your baby is thinking about their changing world and skills during that month.
posted by marmot at 6:59 AM on December 14, 2012

Best answer: I enjoyed The Scientist in the Crib, but it didn't give me much if any practical knowledge of how to be a better parent. That's OK - they authors explicitly say that isn't the point. They argue that in general, you don't need a book to tell you how to parent: a child is designed to naturally provoke you into teaching. There's a place for advice books, of course, it's just that most of parenting doesn't require the knowledge you'll gain from them. And I'm probably overstating the case - knowing more about how your child learns can only help you, even if it's just to make you more confident about continuing to do what you are already doing. (Amazon summary: " the authors succinctly and articulately sum up the state of what's now known about children's minds and how they learn.")
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:15 AM on December 14, 2012

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