Whenever he hears music, on TV for example, he will immediately start dancing around the room. When he hears an airplane fly by, or train go by he immediately says "airplane!" or "train!" and mimicks the sound. He's also recently started clapping and laughing whenever he notices anyone else doing so, and singing along to a lot more of his favorite songs (Wise Man, Foolish Man; Row, Row, Row Your Boat; Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam; and even You Came From a Land). We were floored this week when he successfully started counting to ten without any help, and can't help laughing when he repeats our first names, or pet names for each other, when we say them in front of him.
We've had a lot of successes, but we also know we have a lot to learn trying to teach our "guinea pig" first child through example.
We would love it if he would listen everytime when we say "No, we don't do that, it's not nice"; "Come over here, please"; and "Bring me that _____, please." We'd be set! Seems like the more we try, the less he listens. Which when it comes down to it, makes sense, because we pay more attention to him when he doesn't do it. Kids really are the master manipulators aren't they?
Prime example: we got home from the store and were putting groceries away, when we noticed he was "helping" take the cans out of the bags and stacking them. Just watching us do it, he started to do what he saw. So, we're going to try and be better "models" with less "lecturing" and see how that works out for us.
We're even going to challenge ourselves a bit more and try another experiment Brittany came across in her Parenting class this week: not saying "Good Job!" so much when he does something right. We have definitely noticed how it has made him very dependent on our praise and attention, and need to remedy that. We're going to try and ask him questions like "How did you do that?" or "How does it feel when you help Mommy/Daddy?" that will help him see/find the pleasure in a task himself, instead of thriving on our opinions and attention completely. It won't be easy...but we're going to do our darndest to break ourselves of the habit! (If you're interested in learning more about this Parenting Tip, click here for the article that was discussed in Brittany's class.)
We know we are so lucky to have such a great kid and to have such wonderful support as new parents. We just love when Dean does something new and exciting that we can share; and when we see how difficult raising an independent, smart, and obedient child really is, we are thankful that our parents didn't give up on us. Parenting really is the biggest eye-opener, challenge, and joy isn't it? Thanks to our wonderful parents who've been there for all our manipulating and formative years. You really are amazing!!!! And to all those raising their own kids at the moment...we understand! At least more than we used to anyway.
Dean is currently in the kitchen throwing grocery bags up and then saying "Wee!" while they fall down to the ground again. What a funny kid! Better go clean them up.
The James Anderson Family