Now that my son Adam is almost 5 years old, he is wanting to do more and more things on his own. “I can do it” and “I can help with that” and “I know how to do that” are things we hear often. At times we also enounter resistance from him when we ask him to do something on his own.
Sometimes the resistance is because truly cannot do something on his own, or has a great deal of difficulty with it. Other times, he just doesn’t feel like undertaking the task and/or wants to call the shots.
A bit of creativity goes a long way in negotiating this stage. Today Adam kept asking to put the butter and syrup on his French toast. I am not too keen on this since who kinows how much of either condiment he’s going to use, but in the end I told him he could put on his own butter and syrup if he also cut up the French toast on his own (a task I don’t enjoy doing). He is capable of doing this, but often balks when asked to do it. Today he didn’t complain, however. I think he understood the quid pro quo arrangement and was happy to go along with it.
I am a big fan of expecting children to do everything that they are capable of doing. In other words, no coddling (or very little coddling, anyway) at our house.