Toddlers scramble out of their strollers, climb on anything handy, and insist on being picked up because they want to see better and reach farther. When a child stands on the floor, he can’t look out of most windows. Beds and toilets seem very high and big, and doorknobs and light switches are unreachable.
In public places, almost nothing is placed at a child’s eye level. One mother walked into a health clinic and introduced her three-year-old son to the receptionist, who was sitting behind a high counter. The boy couldn’t see anyone to say hello to and just stared at the wall in front of him until the woman peeked over to look at him.
When your child goes to a public bathroom, the toilets, sinks, towels, and dryers are all out of reach. Most water fountains are too high for him to use, and most of the interesting features of stores and restaurants, cash registers, cafeteria counters, bakery bins, are out of sight. When he has to sit in a stroller, his view is even more limited.
To see what your child sees, get down to his level and look around. You won’t see your own kitchen sink or the tops of your tables. In a store, you won’t be able to look at what people are doing behind counters or see most of the interesting merchandise. You’ll notice that at nursery schools and day care centers everything is at eye level, and all the tables, chairs, and shelves are easy for children to reach.
Once you see how unsatisfying your child’s view can be, you’ll understand why he wants to climb and be carried. Pick him up often so he can see what’s happening around him, and provide safe stools or pillows at home so he can climb a little and see more of his world.