Thursday, June 16, 2011

Don't Ask...

I love to observe other people's children. Especially those children who are little M's age. In part, it gives me an idea of where little M is going, and also what I should be helping her work towards (especially language-wise), but it also, usually, helps me feel like I am doing ok as her mom.

One thing I always, ALWAYS notice is that kids who are little M's age do what they want.
If they want to play with a toy, they do, regardless of whether that toy is their's, or not.
If they want to play with their own toy, they sure do!
If they want to do a puzzle, they do it. If they see a ball, they throw it or kick it.
If they want a drink from the cup in front of them, they take a drink.
If they want to color, or read a book, they do.


Little M does not.
She asks before she does almost everything.

She asks before getting her books out. She asks before coloring, even though we purposefully have her crayons and coloring books out right where she can reach them. She asks to play with her blocks, and open her toy baskets. She asks to play with blocks, and sometimes she asks if she can have water when it is right in front of her.


She knows these things are all hers. They all belong to Mackenzie. But she still asks.
The difference between little M and other children her age is that those who have grown up in one family for all of their short lives have a sense of ownership in that family.
They see a toy, and they know it is their's, so they play with it. Without asking.
If they want to go outside, they go, because it is their house and their yard. If they want to read a book, they know they can.

Little M does not understand this ownership. She most likely never was allowed to make these kinds of choices for herself. I feel like it will me a major sign of secure attachment when she is comfortable enough to open her blocks without asking, or go get some books and read them, or pick up her water bottle, and drink, without asking me first.

The fact that she still asks shows me that we still have work to do on our attachment, and I am a little unsure how to work on this.

2 comments:

Kim K. said...

It takes time. 3 years later and Josie still thanks me every time we go grocery shopping or she has a meal in front of her.

The Thomasson's said...

Working on in related to attachment and working on getting her to "make her own choices" are two different things. We have only been home 6 months with our daughter from taiwan, so attachment wise, I don't feel in a place to offer advice. But in helping her feel confident in her choices, are there situations where you can give her two choices. "What does M want to do? Play with blocks or color?" and then have her choose. Then move it up to three choices. Maybe once she feels comfortable making those decision on her own in a structured environment, it would carry over to other areas.