Matteo is a smart cookie. He often hears & understands more than I realize at the time…
For instance, after toddler gym this week, I complimented him on doing a good job. I mentioned how I liked how he participated in the music & played nicely with the other kids. He responded by listing all of the things that he didn’t do: “well I just didn’t sing with the lady, & I didn’t do all the hand motions, & I ran around with the other kids not on the carpet, & I just took a bike even though another boy wanted it, & I didn’t want to share my toy.”
Oh. Didn’t realize you thought through all of that.
Him reciting all of this to me brought up a couple of dilemmas for me…
1. Should I be tougher on him considering he clearly understands right & wrong.
2. Is he being too hard on himself? Do I need to address this in a way that will help him understand that no one is perfect all of the time.
3. Do I just maintain what I’ve been doing – a balance of intervening & explaining & letting natural consequences occur – since obviously he is getting the right message so far.
As usual my solution is a combination of everything.
1. I think I need to toughen up on my non-negotiables (being kind in general)
2. Continue to back off & allow him to participate in things as he feels comfortable with them
3. & teach him that he will not always make the best choices, but the most important thing is how you learn & improve from those situations.
Sound a little philosophical for a 3 year old to grasp? So far he’s shown me that he can handle it 😉