Okay, so here is a perfect example of how smart and quick kids are.
Kathy takes her 3 kids to the kiddie pool during her recent stay in Florida. Zack, a new walker, tries to follow his sisters into the center of the pool.
Unfortunately for Zack, he has only been on his feet for a few short weeks (still wobbly), the bottom of his little shoes are slippery and the kiddie pool has a decidedly deceptive slope “down” to the center.
Zack enters the pool to follow said sisters. His feet come out from under him and SMASH. Down on his ass he goes knocking his head on the bottom of the pool.
Mom walks over to the child on his ass. She didn’t run. She didn’t scream. She didn’t grab him up. Why? Because she knows her kid. The other parents in attendance jumped up to “assist” Zack, but Kathy used non-verbal tools to get all the busy bodies to sit down and mind their own business.
She holds Zack by the hand, lifts him up, puts him on his feet at the edge of the pool and sits back down.
Zack takes a few steps towards the center of the pool and SMACK. Down he goes again.
This happens approximately 6 times. No tears. Frustration to be sure, but Kathy is quickly by his side, Quick hug, quick smooch and off he goes again.
Until suddenly, left on his own to figure this problem out, this smart, clever, creative, determined young 14 month old figures out that he has to sit on his ass and scoot towards the center of the kiddie pool.
For the next 2 weeks, remembering what he learned all on his own, Zack enjoys the pool. In fact, he practiced every time they went to the pool and inevitably, some parent would approach Kathy and comment on how clever Zack was for scooting into the pool and asked her “so how long did it take you to teach him that?” To which she promptly broke out in gut busting laughter.
I asked her why the gut busting laughter – her reply “Can you just see me sitting MY ass down in the pee filled kiddie pool and teaching my kid to scoot down to the center? No way that was gonna happen.”
Here is what she knows, what I know and what the parents of the Parenting On Track family know:
Kids are their own best teachers and when parents provide opportunities to practice, well, kids find their own perfect solutions.
Way to go Zack!