Teaching a young child to drink from a glass doesn’t have to be as daunting or premature as you might think.
The sippy cup was invented more as a crutch for the concerned parent than for the beneficial development of the child using it — it is intended to ward off any unwanted spills, in most cases.
In my coaching work on the Montessori approach to parenting, I advise my clients to skip the sippy cup and allow their child to have a few spills as they find their grip on a real cup or glass for the first time — it’s part of the learning process. How can we expect our children to learn how to drink properly when they’re using a safeguarded version that is nothing like the real thing? When learning to walk, they may fall, and we don’t immediately give them a walker — rather, we understand it is part of how they find their footing.
A child will more quickly gain independence and refine their hand-eye coordination skills when they can learn to drink from a glass on their own. If there are concerns about glasses breaking you may begin with a more durable shot glass that is easier and safer for them to manipulate. Wood and metal cups may also do the trick, but don’t be afraid to switch to real china or glass ones as the child’s confidence increases.
By skipping the sippy cup and using a real glass, your child will learn self-control more quickly and become more careful with their belongings. A sippy cup, on the other hand, encourages the opposite.
Find out why teaching your child how to drink from a real glass is something worth starting before ever considering a sippy cup.
For more tips on how to introduce Montessori activities, read The Nine Key Points to Sharing a New Activity with Your Child.
Do you struggle to come up with engaging activities for your child or feel uncertain about how to properly set-up your home? Let’s Talk to get some suggestions and answers!