I’ve been writing all week (and honestly, for years) about the importance of developmentally appropriate practice and why it’s so important to the healthy, whole development of our children.
The previous installment of this series on DAP ended with a quote that really resonated with me. It perfectly encapsulates the ironic environment we find ourselves in today. There’s a well-intentioned rush to avoid failure, by putting kids in situations that actually increase the odds of failure.
If we’re having a discussion about DAP, let’s start at the beginning.
What the heck is it?
DAP, developmentally appropriate practice, is a teaching philosophy based in research and sound developmental theory about how kids learn and grow. Essentially, it’s respecting children as individuals, childhood as valuable and valid, and learning as part of a larger developmental process. Using DAP means approaching environments and experiences with an awareness and appreciation of where kids are developmentally and how they are wired to learn and progress in a healthy way as a whole child.
The latest Hot Topic post, DAP and Why We Don’t Push Kids Down the Stairs, definitely hit a nerve! The comments have been fascinating! Many shared examples of “too much too soon”, but some also wondered if it was OK to be supporting their precocious children in their advanced interests, while others wondered what the whole analogy even meant.
Have you ever wondered about including your children in remembering someone who has died?
This past month, our family remembered my sister-in-law, Joyce, who passed away 6 years ago. Many of us had talked about how hard it had been each year, thinking back to a day that began like so many before, but had turned us inside out and raw by the day’s end. We talked about the different ways that we could remember that day. To look to the tender mercies and miracles that came along the way. The sweetness that soothed broken hearts.
Toddlers can’t walk down the stairs with alternating steps. They just can’t. While your kindergartener bounds down the stairs taking each step in stride (or several in one super-hero bound, as mine is prone to do), your toddler will cling to the wall or rail as she takes a careful step down with one foot, then brings the other foot to that same step to stand firmly before venturing down in that same slow, tentative manner for another (step together), then another (step together), then another (step together).