FEATURE – In the second article in his series, the author provides helpful tips for those interesting in bringing some Lean Thinking to their parenting, focusing on the first five years of a child’s life.
Words: Sérgio Caldeirinha, President, Lean Academy Portugal
Get ready because this is where the adventure begins! Whether you’re a mom or dad, a grandpa or grandma, or even an uncle or aunt, you might be called to participate in the upbringing of a child.
In this article, we won’t explore the medical, behavioral, or psychological sides of child development, but it is worth mentioning that there are different developmental stages in the 0- to 5-year-old window and that every child will develop and mature at a different pace in terms of cognitive, motor, behavioral, and relational skills.
Psychologists Piaget, Freud and Erikson, each in their own way, defined this journey in deep detail. Here’s a general overview of a child’s development over time:
As I mentioned in my previous article, Lean Thinking offers a number of useful practices that can greatly help you as a parent. Drawing on my own experience parenting, let me share some of the things I have learned along the way, and some fun activities you can do to help your kids tap into their full potential while they grow and learn from you and the world around them. I hope you’ll find them useful.
You could leave this undoubtedly hard task to others, or simply make no plans, but this will only make the whole experience more difficult for you, your family, and relatives.
Your life will change when you child is born. This is the best time to think about how you can establish new parenting dynamics in the first five years of your child’s life. It’s never too late to start planning! In fact, you could even begin your lean parenting journey sooner, during pregnancy.
Let me demonstrate a few options. You have a chance to plan the entire pregnancy, dividing it into phases and planning what will happen in each. Consider the 4Ms (the four dimensions that may contribute to the stability and robustness of a process – or lack thereof) and set up a Kanban Board (a simple white board or wall, where you will stick the “things to do” during the nine months):
Let’s fast forward… your child is now born. What now? In the simple information tables below – which only touch on a few of the options available to you – you’ll find some tips on how Lean Thinking can help you be a better parent in the first five years of your child’s life. At the end of the article, you will also find the pictures in a larger format for easier consumption, as well as some templates that you can print and customize to your specific requirements, broadening the scope and deepening each dimension.
Don’t forget that the most important thing is to plan while having fun. If you achieve that, you’ll be less stressed by the daily burden of raising a child, you’ll value your relationship with your partner and the child more, and everyone around you will be pleased with how you’re educating your child.
Download the templates here.
PS. Read Article 1 here. The next article will be on Lean Parenting: practical tips from 6 up to theirs 15 years old!