Babywearing and Learning Styles

My daughter was just trying to wear a towel - you know - when you wrap it around yourself after you come out of the shower or pool. She's having some trouble getting it to stay up and even after I did it for her, it still didn't stay very long. "How do you make it stay?" she asked me. "I don't know," I responded, "I'd have to do it."

That tells you something about my learning style.

A few months ago I was at a playgroup with a group of local mama friends I've known for years. One mom asked how to put her baby on her back with the Ergo. Her baby was 8 months old. I couldn't tell her! I was pretty much totally confusing her within a few mintes. I haven't used the technique I used then in years and I could no longer explain it! I am so glad I wrote it all down before I forgot how to explain it! Up walks another friend and she says, "This is how Ellen taught me to do it." And she proceeds to redeem me (somewhat) with a flawless explaination and demonstration of the hip scoot.

Blushing, I plop down and wonder where my skills have gone. I've known for some time that my skills were slipping away with disuse, especially little baby skills. But why is that?

I guess it must be due to my learning style. I believe I am auditory, kinesthetic, visual, in that order. Everyone has all three learning styles and an order of preference. All three definitely come into play, but trying to teach a visual person with words is not going to work. Trying to show me is also not going to work. In fact, my learning style has made me a very slow learner for physical skills. I'm not exactly a natural athlete. But once I get something, I'm told I am graceful.

Some people show up at babywearing meetings and are doing advanced maneuvers after having seen it done once. This freaked me out at first but now I know that this is how visual learners do things. My younger daughter is visual or kinesthetic first, auditory last. She sees and does, speaks little. A true natural athlete. My older daughter needs things explained more and holds back a lot. She's more like me. Some people come to babywearing meetings and feel very flummoxed and embarrassed that they can't do it. They require more patience, more words, and more doing. Obviously, they are not visual, so we need to try reaching them via their other learning styles to see which one clicks.

It's helpful to know your learning style to know how difficult this is going to be for you. If you are like me, and you are just not all that natural with physical stuff, don't give up! I can do some super advanced babywearing maneuvers but they took time and perseverence. I used to sit at the computer and watch the videos on mamatoto.org over and over and over! And I'd go practice, all the while playing back the words in my head. I had memorized the scripts! (So did my older daughter, by they way; we'd both say, "Get your baby" in the same intonation as Tracy on mamatoto did - it turns out Tracy is imitating someone else!) So don't give up if it is not coming naturally. It's so worth hanging in there.

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1 comment:

Amie said...

I am going to comment, not about this post, but about your blog in general. I have no idea how I stumbled across it, but I have been reading for a few weeks and plan to stay tuned. After I read this post I scrolled back through recent entries and was surpised to see that you don't have many comments.
Please keep blogging, and don't let the lack of comments discourage you. Some of us are just shy.