We did it! We bought our toddler a drum set.
Shocked? I know. I questioned myself too. I do like a quiet home.
But I am totally happy about it. He needed it.
He’s been throwing things all the time lately. Sticks, yogurt, books, clothes, iPads. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
While he was speaking in a different language than I couldn’t understand at first, through his repetitive actions he was communicating.
I’m learning when he keeps doing something I might not be happy about, there may be a biological demand that his brain needs to perform as he hits the drums in order to grow. As experts suggest, he needs movement in order for his brain to process and develop language:
“Maria Montessori highlighted the connection between minds and bodies in her 1936 book The Secret of Childhood: ‘Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside. Through movement we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas'”
“As young children move and explore their worlds, they are learning through touch. Early bimanual training correlates with the robustness of the corpus callosum, a part of the brain that facilitates quick communication between the left and right brain hemispheres, Beilock said. This connection between using ones hands and swift communication in the brain may be part of the reason learning to play music is often correlated with math ability.”
Instead of seeing it as him disobeying my requests to stop throwing, I choose to see it for what it is: a developmental requirement he needs rechanneled into a safe activity.
And it’s been working. When he feels he needs to throw things – he now has several options: he can play the drums, he can throw balls outside, or he can throw a bean bag into a basket.
It’s not a discipline problem – it’s actually a maturation milestone. His communication is physical while his brain catches up with formal language.
I was frustrated at first, then I remembered reading the above quotes.
I’m so glad I did. Since the drums, since being creative about rechanneling those impulses, the throwing has reduced. There’s a time to throw and a time to talk about frustrations and feelings.
We’re both learning to listen, to interpret, to be better communicators.
His name is Lars, not after any famous rockstars mind you, but maybe he will gain some inspiration from the connection and keep on rocking the drums.