As parents we all anticipate our children's needs. We do it naturally without a second thought. When he has trouble putting his shoe on, we reach in and put it on for him. When he can't get that puzzle piece in immediately, we reach over and show him how to get it in. When he can't open his bag of goldfish, we grab it and open it without a thought.
We don't want our children to have a hard time, to stress, to be sad or frustrated. So we want to help, to make his life easier.
One important thing to keep in mind is that every moment of his day is a learning opportunity. The more we can fight those urges to anticipate his needs, the more opportunities we've created for him to learn. It's a win win every time too. When he's having a hard time with that shoe, stop and give him some time. Either he 1)eventually gets the shoe on and you've taught him to persevere! Or 2)you've created an opportunity for him to practice asking for help. This can happen by teaching him the word help, helping him learn how to put words together as in Help me, or learning how to produce a sentence like Mommy help me please.
So fight those urges and give him some time. Time to work it out and get done what he was trying to do OR create an opportunity to communicate with you. Win Win!
Shannon Kong, MS, CCC
CEO Seven Bridges Therapy