And so you do. With reckless abandon, you scoot from one thing to the next touching and tasting it all. Some things you like. Others not. But you are not dissuaded. What matters is you’ve got to try… try… try it all!
And then, one day, it happens. You’ve tried everything within reach.
And then you look up. EUREKA! There's a whole world above you full of new and shiny things just waiting to be tried!
And so you get some.
THE ROAD TO INDEPENDENT LEARNING
By nature, kids at any age are the world’s most intrepid explorers and original experimenters. They take nothing at face value, probing, challenging, trying, and testing everyone and everything they encounter. And that’s exactly the way nature meant them to be, because...
Trying is how kids learn, and even more, how they come to understand.
It’s that simple.
Now, we all know that The Road to Independent Learning through the random Land of Cuz-It’s-There has its smooth patches and rough spots. But in recent years, with the trend towards overprotectionism, well-intentioned as it may be, it appears we’ve all focused more on the bumps in the road than the eye-opening vistas the journey provides.
However, I would like to offer up the classic, classroom principle of Pause-Prompt-Praise as food for thought...
PAUSE • PROMPT • PRAISE
PROMPT. Then, if you feel the need to step in, do so. Trying not to do it for him, gently prompt ways to solve the situation, offering a helping hand as needed. In other words, put yourself in the role of the helper, not leader. For instance, you might say “I wonder how we can help you get unstuck. What if I hold your arms while you lift your leg?”
And lastly, if I may, I would suggest that we all take a deep breath and consider this. Each time an opportunity to independently explore and experiment is taken away a potential risk may have been averted. But at the same time, a potential reward may have been thwarted…
…the ability to arrive at his own conclusions.