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Nick Terrones has written an important book that celebrates toddlers with respect, insight and authenticity, while also acknowledging the profound responsibility teachers of toddlers have agreed to take on. In A Can of Worms, he writes about his work this way:
“Toddlers have a unique and profound way of seeing and being in the world. They are geared with newly acquired vocabulary and physical skills that serve as compass and tools for exploring and impacting their world with gusto and curiosity.
Merely two years into life, they’ve discovered this incredible power to move and manipulate the world around them. They see the tangible impact they make on their environment and on people in their lives. Their ability to communicate is light years ahead of where they were just a few months before. All this works to their advantage as they ask questions about the abundant mysteries they encounter. Their natural curiosity to test and retest their ideas, and their steadfast determination to understand everything in their world, arm them with questions and insights, wonderment and theories.
I’m delighted by the confidence and pride that radiate from their two- and three-foot frames. I see this every day when toddlers are given the chance to practice being capable, to take ownership of their learning and to feel genuinely respected. Many of their small victories are things we adults take for granted: putting on socks, using a toilet, eating with a spoon, making a two-footed jump off the ground. Toddlers dazzle me with their tenacity to be themselves, with their courage to figure out who they are and how they fit into the world.
It’s an honor for me to see these young ones find the grit within themselves to take risks that once intimidated them. I am continually learning from toddlers—not only about who they are, but about who I am. They inspire me to remain steadfast in refining myself, which in turn encourages me to refine my actions with others.
Their curiosity, paired with their keen observation skills, is a natural strength, helping them move toward a clearer understanding of the world around them. My job is to honor this capacity, preserve it, and strengthen it.”
Join Nick for a free ECI Webinar sponsored by Exchange Press:
“Fearless Conversations With Toddlers: How to Open a Can of Worms With Little Ones”
Wed, Jan 13, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM CST
Fearless Conversations with Toddlers
Use coupon code FEARLESS to get
15% off of this title when you pre-order today.
Toddlers ask big, bold questions every day. Teachers and caregivers give shape to the world as they respond to those questions. The conversation unfolds in an electric moment—an awkward, exciting, bewildering moment. A Can of Worms is a guide and support for celebrating these most important conversations. Have no fear! Take a deep breath, and respond.
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Thank you for the thoughtful response and book suggestion! :)
Listening to toddlers carefully provides insight into their efforts to make sense of the new world into which they were born. This bonding experience is both serious and hilarious. It is important for toddlers' future psychological and intellectual strength to have an adult who listens to them. "A Can of Worms" is important. For adults who fell awkwardly about starting conversations with toddlers, see "The Gift of Words: How Do Children Learn to Talk?" for 12 conversation starters with toddlers.