Learning Begins with ‘Serve and Return’

Our babies, toddlers, and preschoolers enter the world with a host of energy to learn and connect with us.

Guest Blogger:

Beth Collums

Trained Child & Family Therapist                Atlanta-Based Writer

I went to a college volleyball game the other day, UNC vs Georgia Tech, and I watched in utter amazement as these women hit the ball back and forth. The most fascinating aspect was their ability to return to the other side, what would’ve been for most, an unreturnable serve. They dove to the floor, bumped from behind their heads, and set the volleyball at the net with such grace and coordinated effort; all to get it back over the net to the other side.

It’s much like parenting little ones in many ways. We get all sorts of things thrown at us by our children, from eye contact as an infant, picking something up from the ground, to silly questions in the car, and even angry fits. They’re all ‘serves’ from across the net with our children looking to see if we’ll play ball with them.

The question is, like the volleyball players, will we make the effort to return the serve? 

Our babies, toddlers and preschoolers enter the world with a host of energy to learn and connect with us. If we can begin to see each day as an opportunity to meet their little requests with a response, the results will lead not only to a happy and healthy child, but in time a relationship to last a lifetime.


See more tips about ‘Serve and Return’ here! 5 Steps for Brain Building Serve and Return

More about the blogger:

Beth Collums is an Atlanta-based writer who has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Albany Herald, and the Brunswick News. She is a trained child and family therapist, giving voice to the intersection of mental health, relationships, and education. For more about Beth see Beth-Collums.com.

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