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Let Your Baby Learn Through Struggle: Here’s Why.

Ever caught yourself rushing to rescue your little one at the first sign of a struggle? We totally get it – those adorable rosy cheeks and tiny fingers are very hard to resist. But what if we told you that letting your baby face a bit of a challenge could actually be a good thing? Yes, you read that right! While it might sound counterintuitive, allowing your baby to face a few hurdles can actually be a ticket to their growth and development.

As the legendary Ann Landers once wisely said – “It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”

In this guide we’ll be covering:

  • Why babies need to struggle
  • Tips on how to let your baby struggle

Why Do Babies Need To Struggle?

Picture this: your adorable baby with those big, innocent eyes attempting to grasp a toy that’s just out of reach. The struggle is real, and guess what? It’s also really important! Here’s why:

  • Fine motor skills: Allowing them to struggle with zippers, buttons, and snaps on their clothing might feel like torture for your patience, but it’s actually training for their fine motor skills! These struggles are their way of refining those motor skills, getting ready for the day they’ll hold a pencil like a pro (or, you know, attempt to “decorate” the living room walls with crayons).
  • Brainy business: Remember that time when your baby tried to fit a square block into a round hole? Classic. But here’s the thing – those shape-sorter struggles are brain workouts. By encountering puzzles and figuring out how the world around them works, their little brains are getting wired for future problem-solving feats.
  • Persistence pays off: So, your baby can’t stack blocks like a prodigy just yet. That’s cool. The magic lies in the trying. When they learn that trying and trying again can lead to success (or a spectacular block tower collapse), they’re developing a key life skill: persistence.
  • Confidence boost: The look of triumph in your baby’s eyes as they finally master a challenge is simply priceless. Those little moments of success help build their self-esteem and confidence, setting the stage for a lifetime of “I can do it!” attitudes.

How To Let Children Learn From Their Struggles

Now that you’re on board with the whole “struggle is good” concept, it’s time to put that parenting philosophy into action. Here’s how to be the supportive, slightly invisible hand that lets your little one triumph over challenges:

  • Resist the urge to rescue: Oh, the siren call of helicopter parenting – it’s tempting, but resist it like a box of chocolates on a diet. When your baby encounters a hurdle, hold back that instinct to swoop in and solve the problem for them. Instead, embrace your inner cheerleader and offer encouraging words from the sidelines. You’ve got this! (and they do too, trust me).
  • Provide the right tools: It’s like that time you tried to assemble furniture with a toothpick – not the most efficient strategy, right? Similarly, ensure that your baby has access to age-appropriate toys and activities that challenge them just enough without causing a total meltdown. A little frustration is good; a toddler tantrum, not so much.
  • Celebrate effort, not just results: The journey is just as important as the destination. Celebrate your baby’s efforts, even if they don’t perfectly solve the puzzle or get that square peg in the round hole on the first try. It’s all about the journey, right? (or in this case, the hilarious attempts).

So, as you navigate the world of parenting, remember that it’s okay to let your baby take a tumble or two. Embrace the messiness, the laughter, and those moments when your little one manages to conquer a challenge on their own. After all, these struggles are the mini-adventures that will shape them into the confident and resilient individuals they’re destined to become. Cheers to the struggle!

Want To Stay Ahead Of The Curve?

Take a look at our Grow with Me development toy boxes. Rather than worrying about their developmental progress after they’re born, leave that to us. We provide a monthly research-based sensory subscription for developing cognitive & motor skills through play in 0-24 month-olds, leaving you to focus on spending quality time with your new family addition!