Age Appropriate

When Jacob was much, much younger I heard that phrase over and over again. 

Age appropriate, what does that mean?

And who decides what’s best if you are twelve or nineteen?

I know a ‘guideline’ is all it is.

But can really put a guilt trip on a parent

When you know the quiz.

“Don’t give him baby toys. He needs to learn to play appropriately.”

“It isn’t appropriate for you to carry him on your hip.  He can walk, let him.” 

“Don’t hold his hands while he walks beside you.  That won’t be appropriate when he is _____ years old.”

“Challenge him with age appropriate activities.”

Blah, blah, blah…….   And, I began to really, really resent it. 

Age appropriate refers to a developmental concept whereby certain activities may be deemed appropriate or inappropriate to a child’s “stage” or level of development. … Although every child develops in a unique way, all children are expected to interact with their environment at an ageappropriate level.

Everything about being a parent is tough and wonderful on the same day. But throwing ‘age appropriate’ at a parent who is already struggling to do everything in their power to help their child, is just hard.  And, for me, wasn’t helpful.  I wanted to say, “No Fair”!

It became less of an issue for me at some point.  I don’t know when I let it go, but it wasn’t serving me or Jacob well.  And, I’m pretty sure we are both happier for it. 

He loves Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger Neighborhood, Curious George, Arthur, and Paw Patrol. He also enjoys the Weather Channel and Disney Movies. He has a kazillion toys for kids of all ages. (Many are usually on the floor in his room.) He listens to Wee Sing, Baby Time, Silly Songs, Creedence Clearwater Revival, MercyMe and more. He watches Terrific Trips, Fun Learning, Cat in the Hat, Veggie Tales, etc. These are just some of the sources of entertainment for him. He is all about variety—wouldn’t you agree? And if it makes his day better, I’m all for it!!

This past Christmas, his brother’s family gave Jacob this toy:

Munchkin Mozart Magic Cube

Educational toy teaches how sounds combine to create 8 Mozart masterpieces

Includes harp, flute, French horn, piano, and violin instrument sounds

Orchestra button plays all instruments at once

Lights flash to the tempo of the instruments

Recommended for budding young composers of all ages

Made with soft, rounded corners, it’s easy and safe for baby to hold

I’m so glad they ignored that the packaging says something like designed for babies as young as 3 months old.  Jacob LOVES this toy.  And, I do, too.  Even on the louder volume, it isn’t deafening.  And it is beautiful music—of course, come on it’s Mozart!!  Plus it lights up.  Everything about it screams – JACOB! A huge win in the gift department!

Sunday as I was making tea for lunch, I pulled out an old Tupperware pitcher. Jacob spotted the lid. He had the best time playing with it. Check out the video and you’ll see it made the perfect toy top. Now I’m on the lookout for another one to paint some fun colors so he can spin to his heart’s content!

Honestly, it can be difficult to find things and experiences that really make him happy. When we do, we are all over it!

It was one thing to encourage toys and activities that met his developmental age but another all together to be told when he was a teenager that he shouldn’t have children’s toys meant for a two year old.

Our focus is on what is appropriate for Jacob and it’s really great when we find something that makes him smile! One of his favorites is for him and his daddy to have fun at bedtime no matter his age!

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