Greater Independence: Nachos Round 2

After the success of the first round of nachos, we knew nachos were a good meal my 17 month old daughter could make for the family. This was the time I let her stand on her own without me hovering physically. This was the second time, though, that my daughter showed creative problem-solving to make a task easier for her. She consistently finds ways to be more effective. In fact, I felt like I was getting in the way each time I tried to “help” or stepped in because I thought she couldn’t do it. Here’s how it went down:

I began by opening the bag for her, but put it down instead of holding it.

She got distracted, though, and I assumed that meant she wasn’t interested. I put the chips in for her. I soon would wish I hadn’t because……

After mama gave her space and time, she dumped the bag into the little sink. She then grabbed handful after handful easily. She would definitely have been able to put all the chips in if I hadn’t interfered with my impatience and doubt.

I grated the cheese, but she put it all on. (I did spread it though. I am just too picky that way. I like cheese everywhere!)

I have one of those can openers that makes all dull edges. We are trying to get through the cans so we can stop buying them. (Why no more aluminum cans?)

Well, I felt bad for the chip intervention so I let her have the beans to see what she would do. I wasn’t sure if her handspan was wide enough to hold the can. She ended up dropping the can on top of the chips. Once again, I doubted her as the beans spilled out. I picked up the can, saw it was half full, felt that it was lighter, and had the realization that she could have picked up the can if I hadn’t pushed in (again). I gave her back the can which she grasped fairly easily. She poured out the rest of the beans, dropped the can, picked it up and handed it to me.

We all ate those nachos happily, but I still am struck by how hard it was to not interfere. I really want to stop, though. I want to see who she is, what she does, how she thinks. I can’t do that if I am “helping” when I am not being asked to help. I have renewed my commitment to letting my child do what she can and to giving her the space to figure out what that is for herself.

2 responses to this post.

  1. […] About A Living Family « Greater Independence: Nachos Round 2 […]


  2. Posted by Lata Murti on April 9, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Good for you and Uma! So hard not to interfere.


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