How do you play with TSK? Do you show him something and let him play with it while you
watch quietly, and wait for him to look at you for your reaction? If that’s how you play, then you are doing a GREAT JOB! This allows TSK to process the new toy and the play time as he is able! TSK takes a little more time to process things now than he will later on. Giving him that time is your gift to him!
The Research Study
A study out of the journal of Infant Behavior and Development showed that TSKs who could choose some activities, made better eye contact and had longer attention spans, than those whose parents directed the play by putting things in front of them, showing them how to play with it and then abruptly going to the next thing, all within the space of a few minutes.
It seems that TSK needs a few minutes to process experiences. Then TSK will LOOK at Mom or Dad for some interaction. That is the time to make eye contact, and smile and say something about the object or what TSK is doing… then wait to see what TSK will do next. He may be finished with that object, or he may want to look at it some more.
By letting TSK direct many of his activities, and by BEING THERE, ready to interact WHEN TSK is ready, you are:
- helping his brain understand things
- helping him develop attention span
- AND you are HAVING FUN with him, so he will enjoy being with YOU!
Genetically speaking, TSK’s thinking process is busy working, if we let it work! “Speeding” to get through play experiences, neither helps TSK’s brain to learn, and nor is as much fun!
Babies need an attentive audience, to give plenty of “’at-a’boy’s”, on cue, of course! So the next time you feel stressed and think about hurrying TSK along with either food or his play, just remember that YOU are helping TSK to learn skills AND you are teaching him that you care enough to give him the time it takes for him to learn!
Parenting takes time, patience, and a lot of paper towels! But, sharing that little life is priceless! Give that kid a hug! Gene