Today I want you to think about how much you actually do for your pre-schooler. Instead of explaining to him how to do something, do you just do it yourself? We are all guilty of this, because let's face it. It's just easier to do it ourselves. If only our kids could say, "Hands off, Momma!" Oh wait, mine can. Mr. Independence. [sigh]
Whenever we do puzzles together, Big L never lets me touch the pieces. He wants to "do it together," but I'm not allowed to touch anything. It's pretty tricky to help with a puzzle without being able to use my hands. So, whenever he asked for help, I guide him with my words. This builds his vocabulary and his listening skills. (Remember, being literate is more than just being able to read. It's being able to read, write, listen AND speak!)
"Look at the shape of the piece. Is it flat on the side? Then it goes on the edge somewhere."
"Do you think that piece really goes there? Look at the colors. Do they match?"
"That piece looks like it is part of the shark. Where do you think it will go?"
Can this be frustrating for both parent and child? Certainly. But, he has to work through the mild frustration to reach a point of learning. If it was easy, he wouldn't be learning something, now would he?
This 48 piece puzzle took him 45 minutes to complete, but he did it. He was so proud of himself.
When you just do something for your child instead of teaching him how to do it on his own, you are depriving him of a learning experience. Do you open your child's snack package for him? Do you get him a drink, or does he help you pour the water? Do you help him in the bathroom? Do you do ALL the chores? Do you pick up his toys?
It's amazing what young children can do if given the chance. Sure, you'll be wiping up spilt milk on the floor until he gets the hang of pouring it for himself, but isn't the mess worth the learning experience?
Hands off, Momma!