FAQ: Episode 2: Dr. David Elkind

Check out our second episode of Podcast Beyond Belief, where we interview John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants about his new CD, Here Comes Science.

Also, we interview Dr. David Elkind, author of The Hurried Child and The Power of Play.

He was kind enough to answer my Mom’s question…”How Can I maximize my toddler’s learning potential?”

Well, first of all, I think the most important thing for parents is to know your child. You should follow the child’s lead. At this age, children really know what they need to learn.

Second, at this age, children are just beginning to talk and just beginning to assert themselves. We call it the terrible twos, but it’s not really terrible. It’s that children are trying to define themselves by putting themselves in opposition.

And then I think it’s so important to spend time talking with children, reading to them, writing poetry, or playing. There’s such a tendency today, I think, to put children in front of mechanical devices and toys. The most important thing that we can give a child at this age is our interactions. Your developing their auditory skills, their conversational skills, their social skills.

Famed inventor, really, of kindergarten, Friedrich Froebel said something that I’d like to put on the refrigerator of every parent who has a child, “Children need to learn the language of things before they learn the language of words.” Children really need to explore the real world before they explore the virtual world.

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