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?