I can do it myself!

26 Sep
When children grow up constantly looking over their shoulder to see if their choices are the right ones, eventually, they subconsciously stop making their own choices, and simply follow what everyone else is doing.” -Ela Forest, The Parental Intelligence Newsletter
You would think most two (almost three) year-olds would still need their parents.  Apparently, my husband and I are already becoming obsolete to Hannah. She constantly says, “Hannah can do that!” to which I tell her, “No, you say, ‘I can do that.’” We’re still working on that one. Either way, she wants to do everything herself. Last night Sean asked her if she needed help cutting her broccoli with her fork (yes, she was eating broccoli!) and she said, “No, I got it.” We can’t help but laugh because she sounds so grown-up and independent! Secretly (or maybe not so secretly), we’re both a little sad to see her growing up so quickly. It’s certainly a fun journey, though!
I found a great article on Family Education about struggling with independence and helping your child. One tip that struck a chord with me was, “ Intervene only if your child becomes frustrated or asks for help.” I have a tendency to intervene quite often, especially if I am tired or in a hurry.
The tip continues with, “If you lose patience and do it for him, you will undermine your two-year-old’s confidence and transform everything he’s done up to now into wasted effort.” I have to say, this part makes me feel really guilty. As I said, if I’m in a hurry, I tend to try to do things for Hannah when she wants to do them herself. We end up getting frustrated with each other, and then one of us starts crying. Usually it’s her, but that’s not always the case.
I am finding that my patience is wearing even thinner than usual because I’m so busy with school. Obviously, this is not Hannah’s fault, and I need to remember that. I often hear my classmates quote the old adage, “patience is a virtue,” and I certainly believe that can be applied to this situation. I’m sure there are plenty of other stressed-out parents out there who go through the same thing every day, so I hope we can gain a little perspective and give our children a chance to try new things and show how much they are learning from us.

3 Responses to “I can do it myself!”

  1. karenselliott September 27, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Going through this with my grandsons. Fun to watch them learning how to be “big boys”. Another good post JoJo.

  2. creatingameaningfullife September 27, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    Thank you for the reminder about patience. I find you continue to need them for the rest of your parenting experience Joanne! My girls still say, “I can do it”!!!!! Deep breaths…


  1. Three going on 30! « - January 29, 2011

    […] Sept. 26 I posted a blog called “I Can Do It Myself!” in which I discussed how independent Hannah has become. I also discussed why it is important to […]

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