Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect

We went to McDonald's the other day (I know, I'm such a health nut) and my three year old wanted to order his own lunch.  I rolled down his window so that he could talk and he yelled out his order as clear as a bell.  The guy on the other end said, "Why don't you let your mommy order, son."  My son shrunk back in his car seat and said to me, "Mommy, why did he say that?"  I wondered the same thing.  

A few weeks ago, my son was swimming and the chemicals in the pool caused a terrible reaction in his eyes.  I called our pool service to ask them to come out and check the levels for us.  As soon as my son saw the pool guy, he ran out to talk with him.  He said, "Look what those chemicals did to my eyes.  I would really like to you fix it for us."  The pool guy gave me a dumbfounded look then said simply, "Sorry buddy."

I see this so often as my son gains confidence and independence.  People are surprised at his boldness and don't know how to react.  I imagine that much of this is just my son's personality but I also feel that it's so important to give him opportunities to practice being an adult.  I want him to be able to order food politely (even if it is in a drive through) and talk to service technicians about an issue.  He needs to practice these things just as much as he needs to learn how to read.  Respect, kindness and politeness are character traits that he should have a chance to practice as much (if not more!) than any other skills.  We'll keep at it, even if we get some crazy looks.  Maybe that will give him the chance to learn tolerance, too.

How do you help your child practice adult skills?  Do you have any other ideas for me?

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