Sometimes we parents can get bogged down in the notion that the teaching of our children must be done by professionals. Parents of children with special needs are particularly vulnerable to this idea since children with special needs often have to learn and develop quite differently than children with typical needs. This series centers around the idea that learning can and does occur most effectively through everyday life experiences at home and out in the community--for children with both typical and special needs.
Children actually do love to do the same things over and over again in the exact same way. That's why many, many parents complain that their heads will explode if they have to watch [insert friendly TV character from kids show] ever again. It's the same reason that night after night after night, kids choose the EXACT SAME book to be read as a bedtime story. That's why they ask you to read the book AGAIN as soon as you finish.
But this is so boring! Why? Why do they do it? Are they trying to drive us nuts? Make us go crazy?
Routines, repetition, and sameness give their world stability. When you are reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see for the fortylevenmillionth time, your child knows the next line is I see _________ looking at me. It's comforting. It helps them to feel confident that there are some things about this great big world that they do know.
AND when your child is able to draw upon that confidence, you will see them dare to do a little more.
For instance, Jack is a late talker. At 4.75 years old, he talks in mostly two to three word phrases with occasional longer phrases thrown in. But when mealtime comes, he can say an entire 22 word prayer with very little prompting/assistance. In fact, he begins by telling everyone to put their hands up, hands down, hands together. I know, "It's a miracle!" Well, yes, but it's a miracle brought about by the God given gift of routine. We say the same prayer the same way at EACH meal and it is the same one that they use at his school. Because David and I followed the school's lead and used their prayer, Jack was able to know what to expect at each meal. He ventured out a little at a time growing confident with each attempt and as the routine continued he said more and more until he did the whole thing. He even lead our small church in prayer one Sunday evening. He needed a little more prompting that time because it was a bit out of the norm but the prayer itself was so routine for him that he was able to apply it to the new situation.
So the next time, you think your head might explode by your child's insistence on doing something exactly the same way AGAIN remember he/she has a great big world to learn about and this is one way of making it all manageable.
Recent Life is Therapy Posts can be found at:
TV is NOT the Enemy
The Grocery Store
Know When to Stop
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