Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Think BIG!

This is my beautiful little boy!  He has Down syndrome.  Since the day he was born we have had high expectations for him and have set out to help him achieve these expectations.  And WOW it has worked!

He never ceases to amaze me with his capabilities and his tenacity to learn new skills.  He has to work harder than your average kid to master anything, but his persistence is incredible.  And he LOVES to help because he is so proud of being capable.

Even though we consciously set out to expect amazing things of him, it's so easy to fall into that parent trap of feeling our little ones can't do things.  I do it with all of my children and they are happy to play helpless and let me do things for them!

My example is that, when my little guy was five, he used to try and help me with the folding.  So as I would be folding the clothes, he would be shaking them out and laying them flat in a pile.  I used to get so frustrated but let him do it because I knew he was trying to help.  It took twice as long to fold with his help.

Then one day the penny dropped for me, and I took the time to show him how to fold.  Lie the pants flat, join the two legs, bring the top to the bottom.  The next day, after one lesson, I finished hanging clothes on the line and came in to find this!

I couldn't believe it!  My eight year old doesn't take the time to fold this well.  Note he has even put them in correct piles - his sisters clothes, kitchen linen etc.  I didn't teach him that part, he just observes.

Let this be a lesson to me.  Never underestimate any of my children!  Yes Miss Eight, I'm on to you.  I know you can fold better than you are letting on!

Now one more photo that has nothing to do with this post whatsoever.  My little dolly granddaughter!

I just want to squish her!!!


Stitchin' time said...

Lol, your boy knew what he was doing but he must have a lot of patience to wait for his 'slow' mother to figure out what he is communicating. That would have been a lesson in observation for you as the folding could have been done in half the time with 2 sets of hands! It's wonderful what our children can teach us.
Grandchildren are made for 'squishing' :).

dixiebelle said...

Kids can be so clever given a chance! Sometimes I think it is personality too, as our almost 4 year old is a better & harder worker than our 6 year old! They both get treated the same and the same expectations. Recently we started a pocket money system, if they can do their everyday jobs (make their bed, fold PJ's and put them under the pillow, stuff like that) they can participate in making some 'spending money' by helping us with jobs like weeding, cleaning the chicken coop, washing up... for 50 cents a job. He is brilliant & earning quickly. She has not been able to keep up the everyday jobs, to even qualify to be back in the pocket money system!! Oh well, we'll keep on trying!

Kim said...

What a lovely post, I enjoyed reading your observations on 'helping' is so true, they are capable of so much. I think it helps to have that guidance to point them in the right direction. You are doing a great job there though! Your little grand daughter is just beautiful, she really is like a little doll.

Dani said...

Linda - The patience you are displaying in the care and teaching of your special little one cannot but reap vast rewards for both of you. He is very special, and loving and generous. And always will be. How do I know? - my husband's sister was oxygen deprived at birth. And a more sweeter, caring and generous person you couldn't hope to meet.

As for your squishy one - oh, yes - very, very squishy :)

Busy mum of 3 said...

You are absolutely right...again! Watch out or I'll have to start referring to you as my guru (LOL) I think I have fallen into the trap of doing for my children rather than teaching them, all because of that precious commodity called time! I intend to change my ways immediately. What the little people can teach us at times hey!

Linda said...

Hi Robyn, You are so right - I must frustrate him so badly at times. I do need to hone those observation skills. And yes, folding the clothes is lovely with the company and REAL help!

Dixiebelle, I know what you mean about personality because my gentle and sweet Miss Eight is my most disorganised yet is incredibly capable as a bushy! I just LOVED your pay system. It makes so much sense! I haven't been paying for chores because I figure they SHOULD help with family stuff. But yes! In real life we organise day to day stuff and THEN go out to earn money. I love it!

Kim, you are spot on! It is crucial for them to have guidance because part of the trouble is things don't fall into place naturally but if shown, children with Down syndrome are capable of more than people realise.

Dani, how hard that must have been for your husband's parents. There were no support groups years ago. I'm glad you have such a lovely sister in law. It really makes you stop and wonder why we place so much importance on IQ sometimes because there is so much more to people than that!

Busy Mum, A Guru?! I like that idea! Oh yes, they are so clever too. They know when we are likely to cave and do it for them. "Yay, Mum's busy and stressed! I'll do the sulky/grumpy thing and she'll do it for me!" Good luck with changing your ways!