My youngest is definitely at that stage where he's trying to figure out how to be a big boy and be independent.
He wants to do everything on his own. He's been this way for a while now but he is becoming more adamant about it.
I know that his success depends largely on me. I have to learn to let go of some things. I have to continue practicing patience daily. I have to interact with him and make him feel confident in his decisions and actions.
Earlier this week, I saw a video shared by a friend and in the background there was a child talking. Everything the child said was followed up by the word "okay". I only point this out because my son does this too. It definitely has to be a three year old thing.
While it is sometimes difficult to understand what my youngest says, I can clearly understand his follow up word "okay". His favorite phrase right now is "Let me do it, okay." I realize that by him saying "okay" he is asserting himself. He is letting us know that he is an individual. He knows what he wants. He's showing us that he can do it. He's confident in himself. Which is great at this age. In other words, he is letting me know that he is a big boy, just like his two older brothers, and should be treated as such.
He's a great big helper as well. We cleaned up his room and he did most of the putting back together the puzzles and sorting out the shapes into where they belong. While we cleaned he also practiced his early math skills.
Then it was time to vacuum. This was sort of hard for me to let him do because by this point, I just wanted to finish. But his ever persistent little voice was saying "Let me do it, okay." Okay, I said, okay. I told him that I was going to vacuum too. He was adamant about me not doing it. We came up with a compromise of him getting the big ones and me getting the little ones. Whatever those are. It worked. He pushed around the vacuum, as best he could. He did a pretty good job too.
He was so proud of himself that he'd done a big job like vacuuming. I told him that his vacuuming was so good that he got almost everything. He was beaming from ear to ear.
I say all this because I remember seeing a video clip of Mr. Rogers on the Tonight Show back in 1983. He said that children are to be respected. That we learn things from them all the time. I wholeheartedly agree.
I respected my son's need to find his independence and be a big boy while still guiding him and teaching him.
Boy is it hard letting go.