Yesterday morning when he woke up, the first thing Adam wanted to do was bake cookies. He bought a stegosaurus-shaped cookie cutter during our last cookie decorating session and he was excited to try it out. With my thoughts from that session still fresh in my mind, I was mindful of my own actions while baking with Adam. I wanted to let him have the freedom to do things his own way without my interfering. Unless my help is asked for. I cleared my mind of any adult worries - mess, wrong measurement, wrong spoon, 'wrong' way of doing things. So what, right?
Adam using the mixer. We've used this before but normally I would hover around like a mother hen, worried that he might lose control of it, splash the paste all over the kitchen or hurt himself. This time I let go, and I realised he already know how to use it well and safely.
this is the stegosaurus. I think it should be used with a different type cookie, the kind you roll out and cut with this cutter. Our dough was soft and sticky. But never mind, Adam figured out a way to use his cutter.
Freshly baked yummy goodness! the stegosaurus turned out humungus but Adam was so proud of them and declared they look 'just like stegosaurus in my book!'.
As adults, we have this tendency to teach. I think John Holt described it best;
Anytime that, without being invited, without being asked, we try to teach somebody else something, anytime we do that, we convey to that person, whether we know it or not, a double message. The first part of the message is: I am teaching you something important but you are not smart enough to see how important it is. Unless I teach it to you, you'd probably never bother to find out. The second message that uninvited teaching conveys to the other person is: What I 'm teaching you is so difficult that, if I didn't teach it to you, you couldn't learn it.This double message of distrust and contempt is very clearly understood by children, because they are extremely good at receiving emotional messages. It makes them furious. And why shouldn't it? All uninvited teaching contains the message of distrust and contempt. Once I realized this, I found that I had to catch myself all the time. I have to catch the words right on the edge of my tongue. The problem is that we human beings like teaching. We're a teaching animal, as well as a learning animal. We have to restrain that impulse, that habit, that need to explain things to everybody... unless we are asked " By John Holt.