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What is Mimamoru Childcare?

Mimamoru is a word one commonly hears or reads. It is the opposite of 'do it for someone' and I began to use this word in childcare when I felt the need to shift from 'infant care which was getting closer to the model called mother' or from 'childcare that gave priority to the perception to teach something to children' to 'childcare that builds the environment for the natural development of children'. 

An infant cannot suddenly start walking without first crawling. It is widely known that if there is an inadequate environment for an infant to crawl, the crawling duration is reduced and if the infant starts standing and walking earlier, there could be problems with that child's subsequent growth. This is because, at each stage of development, every infant acquires certain elements that are useful for his or her subsequent growth. And some length of time is essential at each stage, to acquire these attributes. 

Hence, the caregiver should not lend a helping hand or hold an infant from behind so that the infant is able to stand faster but build an environment such that the infant can crawl sufficiently during the period when it must crawl. This would result in the child living the present in a better manner.

The progression from crawling to holding a support and standing, standing independently, and then walking, is a natural development process. To ensure such growth, space for each of these activities has to be made available. Further, at each stage of development, the child must have the motivation to perform an activity. If the child has the desire to crawl and get or touch something, or be cradled by someone, it will crawl in that direction. The 'attitude' to want to crawl is born only if there is a 'motivation'. This sequence of 'sentiment', 'motivation' and 'attitude' is mentioned in the Guidelines for Centre-Based Care. 

The caregiver needs to arrange not just a large enough area but an environment where the infant wants to crawl. And it is vital that this environment should not merely offer what the infant can do at the present. There should be challenges for the infant to want to stand on its toes. For instance, when the infant wants to grab something, the object should be slightly above the height of the infant can reach and if the infant wants to be cuddled by the caregiver, he or she should stand at some distance. In order to closely observe the development of the infant and set tasks slightly beyond its development, one of the specialisations that the caregiver must have is an understanding of the process of development. 

Besides, the caregiver is also one of the elements of the child's environment. If the child shows a sign that it is seeking the involvement of an adult, the caregiver must be able to notice it and respond suitably. To do this, it is crucial that the caregiver is not too close to the child but should be 'watching' the child from a distance. He or she should not 'do' what the child wants, while at the same time, he or should should be a mere spectator. Closely 'observing' each child's process of development, the caregiver must 'watch' and provide suitable 'help'. 

And that is Mimamoru childcare.

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