Thursday, June 26, 2008

Encouraging Discouraging

I have SUCH a bad habit of discouraging my children. I mean the best, honest I do. I see them doing something I know that they don't know how to do and I want to spare them the anger and frustration of it not working the way they want it to.

It is not that I think my way is better. I just know what they want, and that they will not accomplish it going about it the way that they are.

Such is the case with my precious AA today. Out of no where, she decides that she wants to make a quilt (full fledged QUILT, squares of different fabric, seams and all, sewn by hand QUILT) for her baby doll. She put the wrong sides together!! Maybe I AM too much of a perfectionist! The hairs on my back stood straight up (yes, my secret it out, I have a hairy back).

I commented to her that she should do it this way, proceeded to show her, and told her the how's and why's of it all. The look on her face was confusion mixed with sadness. I had discouraged my precious daughter. And for what?

I came up in tears to my beloved (who thankfully works from home) and he shared with me something he listened to on Love and Logic. He said that whenever a child wants to do something, give them all the encouragement you can. But don't give them instructions unless they ask for it. Don't give them help unless they ask for it. When they are done with their project, tell them they gave it a really good try. They worked hard it. Give them praise, but not FALSE praise (don't tell them it is beautiful and perfect in other words). Ask them how they think it turned out.

When they reply that it didn't turn out the way they expected, mention that you have a suggestion that might help them. They are MUCH more willing to listen and LEARN and know how to do it in the future.

So I went back, apologized to AA and told her that she could do it however she wanted. And that I told Daddy about the quilt she is making and he is VERY anxious to see it. She BEAMED! I just hope that it was enough encouragement to allow her to actually finish the quilt.

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