When an adult asks him a question, he just smiles. When a child asks for a cookie, he just smiles. (Not that I have anything against chocolate-covered strawberries!)
How does magic work? Well, all it does is to make the parent think they are doing something good for the child. They often respond, “Oh I’ve been looking for something magical, don’t you know I’ve been studying that in that book you gave me?”
Some parents try to help their toddler in some meaningful way (trying to teach math, playing music) if they see the same positive response with their toddlers. The response may be, “Oh I’ve been following our teacher’s directions and she keeps saying that things I’m doing are magical.”
Magic is a great way to tell parents that their children are in control and that their children are doing things they should be doing. It can also help reduce the fear parents feel and help to change some of their negative attitudes toward magic.
If your little one has magic issues, check in to see if that’s part of the problem. If it doesn’t go away on its own, check your baby out when they are sitting with a parent and ask a question such as “What good has your fairy doctor done for you?”
Can kids be too smart for magic, too smart for magic?
Yes, magic can be too complicated that you can’t put it in a baby’s best interest (just ask any parent). There are also times when it’s too simple to use magic.
“Don’t give my baby magic when she isn’t ready,” is not a practical parenting approach.
Here’s a trick that works well in both situations. I sometimes suggest putting the magical item in a bag (with a lid) and letting her handle it. Then, in the same situation, ask her what kind of magic she does with her stuff.
Maybe she says, “I play with my toy airplane,” and then she gives an explanation (such as how she’s turning her toy airplane into a little airplane and making them fly).
Or perhaps she just says, “I use magic to do my chores like brushing my teeth.” Then she demonstrates the magic (such as turning her diaper into a giant magic brush!)
These kinds of explanations are simple and clear, but a parent’s imagination can be pretty creative, so let her come up with a fun answer. The magic is not the magic.
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