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Cutlery Confusion

Posted by admin Sunday, August 12, 2012

Did you know that rushing your child in to using cutlery can actually hold them back developmentally?

Big to Small and Close to Far

The principles of child motor development are “big to small” and “close to far”. This means the bigger, chunkier muscles of the trunk and arms will develop before the smaller muscles of the hands and the muscles closer to the trunk (shoulders), will develop before the muscles further away (hands). 
When a child is encouraged to use a “proper” grasp of cutlery before the shoulder and arm muscles are ready to support it, fine motor problems may emerge, such as holding the cutlery in peculiar ways, avoidance using cutlery or even tantrums and refusal to sit down to eat. So don’t be in a rush to make your little one hold their cutlery properly, let them learn naturally and probably around the age of 4 years they will have naturally suppressed reflexes and learned new skills to be holding their spoon or fork in a more “adult” way.
Make cutlery available to your little one from the moment they start to wean, such as rubber-tipped spoons. They can become familiar with handling it and since you are using cutlery to eat your food, they have the opportunity to mimic you. Opt for cutlery with big, thick, chunky handles since the primitive fist grip will be around for a while and the chunky design will make it easier for them to hold in a fist grip


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