It’s no secret that we struggle with SuperBoy, but when he is given more responsibility, he seems to do better.
It has been almost three weeks (knock on wood) since we suffered one of his earth shattering melt downs. I’m not sure what we are doing differently, or if what we’ve been practicing is finally paying off….but I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. What we DO know is that he thrives on responsibility and the praise of being a “big boy”.
Lately I’ve been vocalizing my frustrations with the state of the house: my firm belief that if everyone quit leaving things wherever they finished using them and put their own things away….and my belief that one person cannot do this alone…that if everyone chipped in and helped our house would be a nicer place to live.
Tonight as I rushed around getting the little kids through their baths and ready for bed I walked past the couch and found a beaming SuperBoy and what USED to be a pile of towels that needed to be folded. He had folded and sorted them all. He had delivered towels to my bathroom (and hung them up on the towel racks!) and the kids’ bathroom and wanted to know where to put the rest away.
I nearly fell over with shock. He was SO proud of himself…and I was so proud of him. To take initiative, to follow through and do a thorough job and to recognize that this was helpful to me.
After thanking him and giving him a giant hug, he asked me “What else can I do to help?” Late in the day I found myself getting ready to put him off “Oh honey, I don’t know…why don’t we do some more tomorrow?” … but I stopped and looked at his freckled, smiling face and took the 5 seconds to stop and think…then gave him the broom and had him clean off the front porch, something I had thought about doing every time we walked in the door…and promptly forgot about until the next trip. He did a great job again.
We went through a similar situation with SuperGirl last year sneaking food….at our wits end my mom suggested that we just give her a little more independence…a little more room to grow up and maybe it would stop. Sure enough it did.
Perhaps I need to realize how big he really is getting and pay a little more attention to designing a routine that embraces this big boy… that provides him more responsibility and independence…. and then I can privately mourn the loss of my little baby boy.