I sat with Mama Johnson earlier in the week to share with her some of the things we learnt in a program we attended.
Mama Johnson is my neighbor. She is nursing her first child, Johnson, 2 years old. Mama Johnson doesn’t have too much time for stimulation. I did not also count the term as important to child development until I attended a UNICEF program on Key Household Practice in Abuja in 2009.
Beaming with the knowledge of the seminar, I told Mama Johnson that a child, even in womb needs physical, mental and social care through a stimulating environment and that children learn faster when they are young. I told her that according to Maria Montessori. 80 percent of the personality of the child is formed at age 2-6.
I explained how useful the interaction between children and care givers is and why her child and other children should relate through play and communication. I opened her eyes to the fact that colorful toys, sound making objects, mobile toys, sweet and sour food, talking, dancing, tickling, hugging, greeting, clapping, reading numbers, blocks, sand play, storytelling, exercise help Child Stimulation. We ended the discussion as I handed over to her some toys and play equipments I bought for Johnson.
Two days after our discussion, Mama Johnson sent me a text message that she would like to discuss with me when I return from the office. When we discussed, she expressed her gratitude for our last discussion and the toys, I gave to Johnson. She said her son; Johnson has become livelier in the last two days.
She implored me to teach more of the benefits of Child Stimulation as she would like to discuss it in her women club, where there are many young mothers. Elated that she is converted, I went into my room and brought my notes at the program I attended and read to her some of the benefits of Child Stimulation: It helps the child grow, learn and develop, promotes mental, physical and social abilities, identifies disabilities in children, It provides opportunities to give love and attention.
I concluded the evening lesson as I instructed that she should tell the women that if they recognize abnormalities/difficulties in the children, they should refer to health workers promptly.
I love my last story like others. I believe it opens our eyes as custodians to some of the things we take for granted in our children development. Please take time to listen to this story again and ask yourself the question, if you have really been involved in stimulating your children as our story shows.
Think the Child! Think Today! Think Tomorrow.
Have an INSPIRED Day.