Your Baby Is Smarter Than You Think – NYTimes [PDF]

I was never really that good at playing with little babies. I just don’t do the whole motherese thing, and I often don’t know what to do with themother than hold them and bounce them around. Not that I don’t like babies: I love them, and I think babies are adorable. I just don’t know how to play with them.

Anyway, I always believed that babies are smarter than we give them credit for. Just because my little baby cousin doesn’t respond the way I would expect him to doesn’t mean he’s dumb. I often wonder just what it is that’s going on in his little brain, what he’s learning, why he’s staring at that pile of clothes when I’m trying to entertain him.

For the longest time, whenever I thought about how I would raise my own kids and all, I knew that I wouldn’t infantilize them. I knew that I would trust them with responsibility, and that I would try my best to teach them “life’s lessons” in a gentle but firm (and never angry) way. I would earn their respect in order to show them and teach them things, rather than forcing things down their throat.Remember, give your children more credit: you’ll be surprised with what they can handle.