Saturday, July 16, 2016

If you can do it, you can do it!

Doing for yourself feels good!  Working through the process of mastering a skill includes failing a few times.  This encourages perseverance, following a logical sequence of events and sometimes learning something new along the way. 

When a child does for themselves, they feel their own boundaries.  It can be easy for an adult to help a child tie on a cape, but then when they want it off they cannot do it themselves.  We can help them climb high, but they then might get stuck.  When a child goes through the motions of an activity they feel their current skill level and naturally work to extend it. 
Pride of doing the work is directly connected to independence. When a child does something for themselves, they notice how good it feels immediately and have less need for external praise, which detracts from the activity itself. 

During our day at the Preschool House, we encounter many moments when children need a reminder of our trust in their ability.  It is during these moments that we say, "If you can do it, you can do it"  It is a celebration of what a child can do and what they are working on.  It can also be an invitation to team up with a child to work on the details of tying knots, noticing what is happening and being seen.  All of these things support independence while building relationships: the big work of being a preschooler. 
Once this hard task has been completed we notice by saying something like, "You did it!  At first it felt really hard.  Then you practiced and worked it out.  Then you did it!"  By avoiding praise for a task completed, we are returning the child to themselves and their own self-made accomplishments. 

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