Recently, I received a call from a friend’s daughter and son-in-law. I hadn’t seen them in quite some time. They’re both professionals who live in another city with their little girl, who is eighteen months old.
I met her only once when she was an infant. Larissa (not her real name) knows all the letters and colors, follows stories avidly, counts with ease, and loves exploring the outdoors. They told me about Larissa’s day-to-day activities—including her curiosity, persistence, and playfulness—and then said, “We believe she’s advanced.”
Larissa has a caregiver during the day, but this woman is moving on. So, these parents are thinking about putting Larissa in daycare, and they wonder if that’s wise. They’ve read an abundance of parenting material, they’ve chatted with friends and family, and they’ve acquired various and conflicting views about what they should be doing to encourage Larissa’s learning and development.
Should they enroll her in special classes?
How can they know if they’re giving her enough learning opportunities?
Is there some ideal parenting approach that they should be aware of?