Ellie Jo is determined to make her mark on the world. She grabs, pats, pokes, licks, pinches and pushes anything she can reach. Sometimes she just lays on the floor and pats it over and over and over. She can’t be passive. She *has* to interact with her world.
Observing this leads Robin and I to muse about innate curiosity. Babies seem so internally driven. They rarely observe crawling behaviors and yet they push themselves to crawl. Ellie Jo has no reason to be interested in my cell phone and yet, because she sees me using it, she wants to play with it all the time. She is going to figure out the importance of language and learn to speak just by observation.
So how does this play out as she gets older? Do kids actually lose their curiosity or do they simply learn to sit back and take a more passive role when it comes to “education?” Robin tried asking one of his high school classes to tell him what they wanted to learn about an upcoming topic. Their response? “You are the teacher. We’ll learn whatever you teach us.”
I don’t think I want Ellie Jo to ever become that passive. I hope that we can encourage her to pursue learning. I hope she will keep her curiosity. I want to find out things that interest her and help her explore them.
So this is where our parenting philosophy comes into play: we think it is important to view Ellie Jo as a person. Yes, she’s our daughter and we will always protect her and love her as such. But we want to value her interests just like we value the interests of other people in our life. We want her education to reflect our value on her interests.
We’re still figuring out what all of this looks like, but hopefully we can encourage Ellie Jo to continue making her mark on the world.