Last night Claire and I were playing with her coffee can and links. I cut a wide slot into the coffee can lid and the links fit nicely. It's pretty much a homemade version of the Piggy and coins.
We've been working with this toy for about a week or so, and while she would humor me for a few minutes she just wasn't all that interested. Until last night.
Last night she got the can and tried to open it. When I helped her get the links out, she immediately grabbed them and aimed for the slot. She knew what she wanted to do, but couldn't quite get them in the slot. With a little hand over hand practice, she started getting closer and closer until she could get them in the slot herself. By the end of the night she was easily getting the links in the slot.
But that fine line? That fine line is knowing when to help, and when to let her struggle. A few times last night I waited too long to help. Claire got frustrated and the links went flying across the room. Some kisses on her baby and a song soothed her, and she would voluntarily return to the can and the links. But there were also times I helped too soon. Once I picked up a link she missed and tried to hand it to her. That link went flying too.
Other times I let her struggle, somehow exactly the right amount, and the success was sweet, and it was all hers. Quite a few times last night she would try to get a link in the slot, and it wouldn't go immediately. Instead of getting upset, she would use both hands to reposition her grip on the link, and would try again. Completely unprompted. There was lots of clapping and cheering at our house last night!
I want Claire to be independent. I want her to be confident to try things on her own. I constantly remind people (especially Darren) not to do things for her that she can easily do herself. But last night was a good reminder for me. A reminder that help isn't all bad. We all need a helping hand at times, but the grin on her face when she got it all on her own, was amazing!