Try and Try Again

by Allison @ Alli 'n Son on March 4, 2011

Thanks to the makers of Pine-Sol® for sponsoring my writing. A study shows a clean smelling home can help children succeed, so Pine-Sol® is supporting Reading is Fundamental (RIF) this year. Click “Like” on Pine-Sol®’s Facebook page here and they will donate books to RIF!

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The kiddo is rapidly approaching three years old. In less than 4 weeks I’ll have a preschooler on my hands. Even though he isn’t technically a preschooler yet, we’ll have to wait until fall for that, he’s showing signs of growing up and moving onto new levels of learning. He’s interested in letters and numbers. Not just learning to count and the ABC song, but recognizing the unique shape of each one. It’s really rather fascinating.

One of the skills that he’s been working on for the last couple of months is learning to use scissors and cut. Grams, my mother, was the first one to introduce him to it. She helped him learn how to hold the scissors properly, with his thumb on top, which isn’t an easy task at almost-three. She taught him to open and close the scissors and how to hold the paper and begin to make cuts. He loves it.

Yes, once upon a time she was a preschool teacher. Can you tell? She just adores teaching her grandbabies.

Very often the kiddo will request to practice cutting, a skill that will take lots and lots of practice. I love helping him with this. We grab his favorite pair of scissors {the blue ones} and a bunch of sheets of colored construction paper. He props himself up at the kitchen counter and he cuts. And cuts. And cuts. His entire body is concentrating and learning. It’s amazing.

Learning

As he goes along I offer my help and support. I acknowledge what he’s done so far {wow kiddo, you cut all the way around the edge of the paper, nice job!}. I encourage him to try taking two or three snips at once, instead of only one. I gently nudge to help him push himself a little. To help him learn that he can do the next step. And the next and the next. I cheer when he figures out something new and offer words of encouragement when he can’t do it. Yet.

Failing is part of learning, and we acknowledge when something has not gone as planned. When he tries to make two cuts in a row, but his fingers don’t corporate, I recognize his attempt {great job trying kiddo}, console him {it can be tough learning new things} and offer encouragement {but we’ll keep trying, and with practice you will be able to make two and more cuts at once!}. And before you know it, he is making two cuts. Then three. Until he’s finally cutting out pictures that he’s colored, probably better than I could do.

Learning. Accomplishing. Achieving. They are all part of growing up. They are part of parenting. They are part of raising confident kids who are not afraid to try new things, even if they don’t always reach the desired outcome.

Encouragement has become a part of our every day lives. It’s not even something that I even think about anymore. We don’t have to cheer or clap or make a big deal out everything. Picking up toys may not warrant a marching band in the kiddo’s honor, but it does deserve a “great job pick up those toys kiddo” and a hug or fist bump. If he’s hesitant about trying something new the simple words of “just give it a try, if you can’t do it, that’s OK, we’ll try again later” instill confidence as well as the idea that he doesn’t have to be perfect every time {this works wonders in potty training}. Approaching activities with enthusiasm, excitement and energy goes a long way towards getting kids jazzed about trying something new. And of course, just like puppies, the love to be told when they do a good job.

This parenting thing is hard. But seeing our kids growing, learning, achieving is one of the best possible rewards. It may even be better than chocolate.

Don’t forget to click over to Pine-Sol®’s Facebook page to support our children’s success. I was selected for this Pine-Sol® sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 FromTheHeartsOf March 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

Gosh, I wish someone would have helped me learn to cut when I was a child. I cannot cut a straight line to save my life. Usually when I am cutting things, like coupons, I end up cutting off something pertinent. Good luck to the kiddo on his cutting adventures and crafts.

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2 Marcus Lee March 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Hi!
I work for Reading Is Fundamental and we’d like to thank you for supporting children’s literacy through our new partnership with Pine-Sol. If you’re readers are interested in learning more about Reading Is Fundamental, please direct them our website at http://www.rif.org and for fun reading tips, games, and activities for children please direct them to http://www.rif.org/readingplanet and http://www.leadingtoreading.org.

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