No Pushing

This is what she likes doing.

This is what she likes doing.

Now that Betty can recognize and spell some words, I realize that I’m falling back into my tendency to expect more from her than is reasonable.

For example, she likes watching me play Little Big Planet. She suggests where to go, and laughs when I die.

I however, am never content with this. Instead, I give her the controller and ask her to give it a try. She does, by making Sackboy run to the left, constantly. When a wall is hit, she stops and looks up at me, and hands the controller back. It’s too complex for her right now. She *gets* what’s happening. She watches me do it. Still, she has tiny hands and a short attention span.

There’s a flipside to this as well. Once she started reading all the words in Dog Food, I keep wanting her to read it. She likes how happy I get when she does it, but she’s bored with the book now.

So, there’s a delicate balance. If I try to get her do things that are above her skill level, she gets frustrated. If I try to get her to “perform” for me by asking her to do things she’s already done in the past, she gets bored. Some day I’ll get it through my thick skull that these are both rooted in the same impulse, that to “make” her do something.

The thing is, there’s no end to things that we can do together, things she wants me to do that she can’t do own her own. I can take her to the park, push her on a swing, watch her try out her bigwheel or Skuut. Play Candyland, get out the Play-doh or the paints. These are the things she wants to do, should be doing. She’s only three, after all. Besides, I’m constantly amazed and delighted when she does new things on her own.

Maybe I should let her.


About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
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