Self Reliance in Action

by Heligirl on February 1, 2010

in Parenting Tidbits,Positive Discipline

As soon as Sweetness started walking, she wanted to be doing what we were doing. I found it most encouraging that she loved mirroring my house cleaning. Images of me sitting with my feet up as she polished the silver were probably a bit premature. But she was serious about wanting to help. In fact, we were on the verge of a full-blown tantrum if I didn’t give her a dust wand when I was dusting. By encouraging her and fostering her desire to contribute to the family now, we’re supposed to have far fewer battles later on about chores. We’re investing a lot of time and energy on this one. Here’s hoping it pays off.

Toddlers LOVE to help. And from helping, they learn to do it themselves. Just as I was sitting down to write today’s post, all doped up thanks to a lingering cough that keeps threatening to pass my kidneys, I heard a quiet “uh-oh” behind me. I’d just given her a cup of juice and in my drugged out state, didn’t think anything of her comment as I didn’t hear a corresponding crash. Then she said “Kleenex.” She’s had a cold for two days and we’ve been working on her wiping her own nose. Next thing I new she was on her knees and saying “uh, you spilled” and she was cleaning up the mess! I dropped down to my knees next to her and encouraged her actions with “look how you went to get a kleenex and clean up the spill yourself!” She beamed. I gave her a kiss and thanked her for cleaning it up herself. I’d never made her clean up a spill before, but she’s watched me do my fair share.

She never ceases to surprise me. There really is a lot to be said for this encouraging self reliance. She gets it. Better yet, I get it.

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