Mindful of New Accomplishments?
Each time our kids do something new for the first time, do we truly notice?
Recently, we were in the car on our way to before-school choir practice.
Out of the blue, John started playing with his shirt cuffs, buttoning them for the first time.
Then he said, pointing to a woman walking on the sidewalk, “that’s my teacher…..no, that someone else’s teacher.”
Another morning, he said from under the blanket while still in bed, “I am practicing spitting”.
That little sentence might be nothing to some moms, or even receive a scolding.
But you and I both know that any new joint-attention discussion on oral sensory challenges overcome is to be celebrated.
At our house, we are facing braces soon.
So when he recently rolled down the car window and spit out, my first thought wasn’t “bad manners”.
It was instead a hallelujah for mouth manipulation moving forward.
Be mindful, tell your heart to sing for these joys of new things.
That feeling of accomplishment is something our kids deserve to absorb.
As parents, we are always trying to figure out this intrinsic motivation thing.
I have learned the hard way that the better I back off and zip it, the better he moves forward.
It’s against our therapy-parent instincts, to let our kids feel the natural and unintended consequences of their own decisions.
New risks for our kids. New opportunities for them to build those vital long-term life habits and neural pathways.
New ways we must learn to let go and do less for them.
And then observe.
Celebrate quietly on the inside, because we can distract them from the experimenting they need to make progress.
Peace be with us,
Gayle Y. Fisher, M.Ed., Ed.Tech.
Improving the World of Learning Differences