Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Motivated By The Relationship

During this past 6 months, I have noticed many differences between John and our other children. But the one that has caught my attention the most is what motivates them to learn new things like talk, eat, smile, laugh, etc. I realize that all children are different and is naturally motivated differently, but what I am talking about is while they are babies.

Looking back on the first years of my other children, it seemed as if they were on auto-pilot. Milestones came and went with no intervention needed - just the opportunity. They even seemed to make sure they had opportunity with wanting to be put down on the floor or crying (loudly I might add) when they needed a new diaper or wanted to be fed.

John seems to learn just as much as my others did, just at a different pace and also with more encouragement. Whether we are at church, school or at home with his siblings, he definitely comes to life when others interact with him. This type of interaction seems to energize him to press on and keep going. Whereas if I lay him down and go off to do my other work, he often times goes on to sleep and will sleep half the day. I know that this is ok periodically, but it makes me think that I couldn't afford to do that to him on a daily basis.

I have also noticed that John would rather relate to people than to sleep or eat; I guess he is too afraid that he will miss out on something. For example, if we are feeding him and someone walks into the room or if he catches a glimpse of someone behind him, he will stop eating and turn in his Bumbo Chair to see who it is and stare at them until they talk with him. We started out feeding him in an empty room so he would have no distractions, but now we are purposely feeding him with the whole family present so he will learn to focus while other things are going on.

He is truly a very relational baby and we love him that way. He is so full of love and smiles that people can't help but speak to him or hold him when they are near him. This will be the character trait that sets John apart from others - his ability to speak to the heart without really saying a word.

Relationships - they are wonderful gifts that changes lives forever.

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