Thursday, January 21, 2010

"The Can Do Challenge" a la Fishful Thinking

*My Fishful Thinking pal Cecily told me to link this up to Photo Story Friday too. Don't mind if I do! Thanks, Cec.

Noah loves to help me do the laundry. As soon as he hears me lift the lid to the washer, he runs in the laundry room, "I will help you wid da laundry, Mom!" he exclaims. He especially loves to spray the stain remover on the clothes. "I can do it, Mama! I can do it!" And he does a pretty good job. I usually get spritzed a couple times in the process, but if his enthusiasm for this dreaded chore lasts through his teenage years, it will be worth it.

As I was folding clothes, I was thinking about how I could "transform this activity into a mastery moment" for him. One of my goals for this year is to start working with Noah more on mastering those preK skills - writing his name, identifying letters and numbers, sorting, etc... So I asked him to find all of the black socks in the pile and count them. He was so cute lining them all up on the bed. He counted 11 of them and then announced - "One sock is missing!" I was so surprised - not that the sock was missing, I swear my dryer eats socks, but that he realized one of the pairs was not complete. He was really paying attention.

I was also surprised this week when Abby got the bread out of the pantry, a piece of cheese out of the refrigerator, slapped 'em together, and made a sandwich all by herself. She even surprised herself.

"Look, Mom! I made a sandwich ALL BY MYSELF!" she announced with the biggest grin on her face.

The next day she insisted on making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich - a bit messier process. I had to fight the urge to intervene, but she was so proud of herself that she could do it. Noah had to get in on the act too. It was funny listening to Abby tell him exactly what to do. I did have to assist him a little bit to save the bread from being completely mangled, but yesterday, I did let him do it 95% by himself.

FT Empowerment tip: Creating space for a child's exploration of independence can be challenging, but the opportunities for the growth and confidence it provides are worth celebrating!

So I am challenging myself to The CAN DO Challenge! - resist that temptation to always do things for them (even though it would take me half the time), foster their independence, and create more opportunities for those mastery moments.

I can do this!!! (unless I'm running late somewhere - another one of my goals for 2010...)

Done any Fishful Thinking lately?


Lolli said...

I completely agree with you on encouraging kids to do things for themselves! I have tried always help my kids to learn things and try that in the end, I am not doing everything for them AND they are more confident.

My post that I linked up was from this Saturday. :)

Wendi said...

You had me at "loves to help me do the laundry".
Does he hire out?
I could use him around here.
And if his enthusiasm for clean clothes holds WILL be worth it!

Good job Mom on helping your kiddos master new skills.
I'd say you mastered the challenge!

Down in the Sun said...

I am trying to be better about letting my kids do more too. Laundry is a great one. Sam has always helped me and the boys used to too when they were little.

I remember when Tommy was on his mission he could not believe that most of the guys had never done their own laundry! I want my kids to leave home with skills that they need.

I linked up!

Cecily R said...

This is a hard one for me. I DO instead of teach far more often than I should admit. This is a GREAT challenge for me!

P.S. You should double link your FTTs to PSF. They totally work for both!!

Wayne said...

I love the way the kid asks to help with laundry, and I love the picture, I think that its great for kids to have indapendance.

Chris said...

What a great thing to do. I've always bought into this philosophy. Personally, I find independent children much easier to manage.

Raise Them Up said...

I'm guilty of "doing" too much too! Thanks for the great reminder.

Emily said...

You are brave...I'm not sure I'd let mine make their own sandwiches!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Way to go! I think it's actually harder on us parents to step back and let them do it themselves. But once you get into the habit of it, it gets easier and even more rewarding.

amanda said...

sooo not an easy thing to do - but sooo very important!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Way to go! That is the hardest... letting go and letting them grow!
This week Scott made dinner almost all by himself. I browned the meat and opened the canned veggies that he picked out. we all ate the dinner he created by going through the fridge and the pantry.... ya know what, it was pretty darn good! :)

Carol said...

Ah what clever little kids. I always do things they prob should and could be doing themselves because its simpler and quicker. thanks for inspiring me to let them do more.

Emmy said...

Good for you! It is sometimes hard to step back when they are making a mess or doing it "wrong" but that is the only way they will learn.

Krystyn said...

Great job letting them do on their own. I actually just recently posted about this, too. It is so scary and rewarding at the same time.

Kathryn said...

Cute blog!! :)

“Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest”

Kelli @ Gohn Crazy said...

That's great that you were able to let him do it on his own (almost completely). That smile says it all!! Great picture!

Heidi said...

I love to watch how kids develop and learn. I have found the process fascinating! And they are so different that it never stops amazing me what they learn and how early they understand things. It's not that I think my kids are the smartest or best, but I love to watch them.
I think I have a book that you would thoroughly enjoy. It has helped me with a lot through my very limited motherhood experience. It's called "The Mommy Manual" I will have to dig it out and get the authors name. It's about letting your child develop the wings they need to fly away. A mom of twelve wrote it, and if anyone has some advice on how to raise kids it would be someone with that much experience.

Jenny S said...

Love it!! My hubby makes a lot of know the man and his grill, and we have been having a hard time with our five year old eating them. Tonight I had an aha moment and had him put his burger together himself...he ate every bite without a problem!! WOOHOO!!

raising4boys said...

I really loved this post. I'm just now getting around to commenting on it. Why is life so busy??? My 5 year old is always wanting to pour his own milk, and knows I will "let" him when it's almost gone from the gallon. My 2 year old is reaching the "do it myself" stage also. Thanks for this reminder.

I also wanted to ask you if you mind if I "use" your ideas on my blog sometime. You really are so creative and great at FT. I'm glad you moved up on that ladder. You ROCK ;)