Asking instead of telling invites children to think and choose.Examples given include:
"What do you need to do to be ready for school on time?"
"Oops! What do you need to do about the spilled milk?"
"How can you and your brother solve this problem?"
Since pulling this card this morning, I've noticed that this does not come naturally to me. I thought I'd consciously choose a situation to give it a try.
We wanted to go over to visit with Pake and watch the finale of So You Think You Can Dance that he saved on the DVR for us. C had bare feet, and the sidewalk in the Central Valley of California gets hot on an August day. I wanted C to wear shoes so I wouldn't have to carry her between the houses.
"What do we put on our feet to go outside?" I asked her. She stared blankly at me.
I repeated the question and pointed her at the shoes laying in the middle of the floor. She still didn't respond.
"We put shoes on our feet before we go outside." I answered for her, and moved her toward the shoes. She sat down as if to put them on. I turned around to add this very story you are now reading to the blog. When I turned back to her, she not only did not have her shoes on, she had taken her shorts and panties off!
"Why did you take your pants off?" I asked, curiously.
"The tag was poking me," she answered.
I said, "It looks like you need help to get your pants and shoes back on," and began helping her.
We headed out the door. Though she had shoes on, C begged me to pick her up, saying she was afraid that her grandparent's dog, Rosie, would lick her.
I picked her up and carried her. I tried another curiosity question.
"What do you think we can do to help you not be afraid of Rosie?" I asked.
"Stop her from licking me," she said.
"Hmm, let's put our thinking caps on and see if we can think of a way to stop Rosie from licking," I said.
Neither one of us could think of anything. Suggestions welcome!
I wonder if C is a little bit young for curiosity questions, but I think it is a good habit to start. Even if I have to answer my own questions and support it with other tactics for the time being.