Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vigil of the Assumption and Transfer of Learning

You would think that the Assumption, being a holy day of obligation, would have the same number of Masses being said as on a typical Sunday.  But I haven't run across this happening.  Instead, I usually run across two and occasionally three.  Typically it's the daily Mass time offered and a vigil on the day before or day of in the evening.

The problem with limiting people to two options is thus:  it runs into one of the following breakfast, nap, lunch, dinner, or bed time.  Normally I leave a child at home and go by myself but Hubby had other obligations so I didn't have much of a choice.  I had to bring the minions so I picked the lesser of two evils and went with Mass during dinner.

Let's just say it didn't go over well.  Let's just say that I like cry rooms and that the couple who was there was more than welcome to leave if they felt the noise level, the constant banging on walls/mirrors, kicking, running back and forth, etc etc was getting to them.

At one point, the other mom leaned over and told HB that the mirror was made of glass and if he kept hitting it it might break and a very sharp piece of it could cut him and make him bleed.

While it was certainly nice of her to try, toddler's are not very good at a concept called Transfer of Learning (or meaning full learning or dialogic learning either).  They are far better equipped to learn that broken mirrors hurt you from a previous experience.  To ask a toddler to associate broken glass from say a bottle hurting you and also a mirror hurting you, well that's Transfer of Learning and he simply won't get it.  Neither will dialogic learning (or learning through dialogue).  I could tell him that it hurts but unless he experiences for himself he won't learn.  It's how HB learned that closing a drawer with his fingers curved downward instead of held up led to some sore fingers.

And yet, we adults seem to think that toddler's and young children should get it.  The only thing you can do is 1) wait for it to actually happen like with the chocolate pudding so now he's experienced episodic learning meaning he knows hot isn't good on your skin  or 2) inflict some other sort of uncomfortable thing like time out or something so that he learns should he try he has a different type of consequence.  Number two doesn't work so well in the middle of Mass.

I suppose that's the frustrating part of being a parent.  But here's something to consider...children learn better through experiences and play.  Often times we schedule experiences but forget the play part.  So while it seems like nothing to you it's actually really important for them to manipulate things on their own.

Fortunately he didn't break the mirror before Mass was over. 

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