Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Learning Curve

Learning new things is hard. Especially a new skill. It takes a lot of practice. Hard work. Perseverance. All that good stuff.

I've found that core parts of our personality emerge when we are learning something new. I think it's the challenge of it. We feel vulnerable. We like being good at things, and when we think that we aren't, we can get defensive. Or stubborn. Or we just quit.

It can also be difficult to watch someone struggle through learning a new skill. Especially if we have mastered the skill. It's hard to sit there and watch someone struggle. If we do swoop in to try and help, we can sometimes trigger the other person's personality traits. We push them toward becoming defensive. We speed up the appearance of the stubborn streak. Or worst of all - we might be partially responsible if they give up and quit because we couldn't let them struggle.

This week, I have witnessed the stubborn streak:

Learning to feed yourself is hard.

And he enjoys it so much.

But it takes FOREVER.

And it makes a mess.
(You should see the shirt he wore today. I don't even know where to begin with spot removal.)

The stubborn streak has escalated over the last few days. When I first tried to help him with the spoon, he let me. Then, he turned his face away from me until I handed him the spoon. Now, he pulls the spoon away from me and pushes my hand away because he wants to do it himself.

Honestly, I'm glad he's stubborn. I'm glad he doesn't seem to be the kind of kid that will give up and quit. And as I move along on my parental learning curve, I need to remember that about him.

P.S. The Biggest Loser makeovers were excellent. Except for Vicky's. Why so pale? Is it the hair? The makeup? The hair and makeup? The lighting? I'm inclined to think the makeup is part of the problem since her face and neck were different colors. And I am EXTREMELY glad America gets to vote between #3 and #4 next week to determine the last person in the top 3. Go, Michelle!


Katie said...

My grandma always says that the personality traits that are so hard with toddlers are the ones that will make them great teenagers and adults!

Shelley said...

You will be grateful he is on his way to mastering this...eventually. It is really nice when you can put their plate in front of them and be done!

Macy said...

Shelley - you are absolutely right. That's why I'm letting him do it. Even last night when we went to get food at our favorite Mexican place and he insisted on feeding himself black beans. :)

Katie - I love that. Thanks for sharing it. I think you're right about that.

Yvonne said...

It's the key to letting children become independent. (You're so right about it being easier to do it yourself, but they just need to learn on their own. Like making the bed--you walk by and it's not just how you like it, but that's o.k. ; )

I'm just not sure about Biggest Loser--I'm in agreement about Michelle, but my big fear in voting off Vicky is I don't want her to win the other prize!!!!

Baby Sath said...

I happen to stumble upon your blog by chance. Kinda new to this blogging thing so I just search around to find similar topics, family ramblings and such.

You got a nice kid there and I also will have too soon. Its my first baby. Hope I can learn something from you since your a pro in a sense.

Hope that I can put your site in my follow links since I will be viewing your new post from time to time.

Sarah Jane said...

oh the lessons we learn! Well, really, it is the lessons THEY learn that we have to learn to learn:) Hang in there! I just have wipies at every meal handy. still takes as long, but I feel a bit more in control of the situation:)

Grandpa Toad said...

Got to love those black beans! But you have the right idea about letting kids learn somewhat on their own. I makes great kids. I know I have three of them. We love you.

Grandpa Toad said...

It makes great kids is what I meant to say.

Britt said...

oh good--so i'm not the only one with hard-headed children!

Happy Heidi said...

OH MY GOSH - so funny. Abby just decided she has to feed herself and use a fork or spoon like her brothers. She has to hold it herself and doesn't want our hands near it! It takes forever, but it is so worth it to have them learn independence:) I'll call you soon! Heidi

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