“I’m curious how to keep my nine month old away from the Christmas tree.”
What a great question! We always say the same thing – let them explore! Of course, this doesn’t mean let them have their way with the tree and ornaments, it simply means that we go with them to the tree, acknowledge what they’re seeing and acknowledge their curiosities, then teach them how to interact with the ornaments and tree. It might sound something like this…
“You see the tree. Oh, look at that ornament” (as he reaches for it get it for him to hold) “you can hold it like this” (show him) “it’s breakable, so we have to use gentle hands to stay safe. You can sit and hold it to be safe.” and…”you see the tree. it feels rough. can you smell the scent too? we can touch the tree like this” (show him). “we can’t pull on it because it may fall over.” and…”you see those twinkling lights. they’re so interesting. you can tough them with one finger like this.” (show him).
The more we try to keep children from exploring their curiosities the more curious they become about it. if we can guide them in their curiosities we can teach them how to safely interact with their environment. if we continue to scare them away from their curiosities they learn the world is unsafe. So guide him, be there with him, delight in his explorations as you help him learn to safely explore and navigate the world around him!