Friday, January 05, 2007

"I'll do it myself"

Bud has suddenly started asserting his independence, and I couldn't be happier about it.

We've seen flashes of it before, but all of a sudden this week he has been insisting that he doesn't need help and that he wants to do things on his own.

The other day I started to help him wash his hair in the shower, and he stopped me: "No, Mama. I'll do it myself." I stepped back and gave him some privacy as he massaged shampoo into his scalp, then I offered to help him rinse it out. He turned me down.

Yesterday at the end of the school day, the children in Bud's class sat down for their math lesson. Bud turned to his aide and said "I'll do it myself."

She happily stepped aside and watched as he sat at his desk, chatted appropriately with his neighbors, and stayed focused and on-task. Then she wrote a very happy note in his school-to-home notebook.

This morning Bud stopped me at his bedroom door when I tried to help him get ready for school.

"You go out there," he said, pointing to the hallway. "And close the door. I'll do it myself." I stepped outside and heard him rustling through drawers. On the first attempt, he came into the hallway with his shirt inside out. Then he forgot to put on underwear. The next time he emerged, his underwear was on, but he had both legs through the same leg-hole. Each time, he happily accepted my suggestions on how he might make a change, but he insisted that he did not want any help from me.

And then he emerged, in clothes I probably wouldn't have chosen, a bit more rumpled than I might have liked, but with a wide smile on his face and a shining pride in his eyes that I couldn't have put there.

He had to do it himself.


Wendy said...

That is such a great sign! Good for you, Bud! :)

Anonymous said...

For complex tasks with a lot of sequences, you might try charts or posters or similar things that remind him of the things that he needs to do. I was thinking about that with the clothes, and pictures of the various items with big numbers next to them (like "1. (picture of underware)") might help. Of course for all I know he'll do it perfectly tomorrow and doesn't need the help!

If you do go that way, though, I'd do it with his help, and ask him to help you put the chart together. Learning how to identify his own needs for assistance and develop strategies to meet them will help him a lot in life.

But regardless of whether the above suggestions are appropriate for him or not (and they may not be) this sounds very cool and fun, and I'm glad he's enjoying asserting his independence.

Mamaroo said...

How Awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

Joel, that's an excellent suggestion! They use visual schedules at school with Bud and he has a lot of success with them. We used one with him at home (a duplicate from school) to help him remember the sequencing of using the bathroom. It never occured to me to try one for getting dressed. Thanks!!

Maddy said...

Maybe soon we'll both be 'unemployed'! We'll be able to spend our time re-wall-papering, after we've ripped down all those sequencing and flow charts.
"I'll do it myself" and it's equivalents ......redundancy here we come! Horray!

Daisy said...

Isn't that great -- and difficult -- both at the same time?! I can identify with the dressing angst. We finally gave up and bought all elastic-waist pants for Amigo when he was in kindergarten so he could dress himself.

Anonymous said...

That is a great suggestion from Joel. I like using actual photos from a digital camera. One, most kids love photo's of themselves and two, it allows for a teaching session. I have also used video taping a desired sequence with a child. Watching a video is even more fun to learn from. And while not as accessible as a picture post, it allows for the child to watch it over and over, all the while learning the desired sequence.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff!

kristina said...

He did it himself, he did it his way---cheers to Bud!

AS said...

Oh Boy! How exciting!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THAT!! I LOVE THIS WHOLE POST!! go, bud! wow! he is so adorable! and brilliant! and inspiring! can i bottle him up? we all need some bud in a bottle! okay, i know. he'll do it himself.

Milehimama @ Mama Says said...

You might look up some Montessori stuff on the web. She has lots of "practical life" lessons and toys/works for kids to learn to do it themselves - like how to teach them to pour from a pitcher to a glass, how to water plants, etc. She emphasized non-verbal instruction. Often you can find cards to go with the activities.
My favorite free site is

Mom to Mr. Handsome said...

Yeah Bud! Getting dressed on their own is such a marvelous and rewarding step for kids. Boo used to pick out outfits befitting to Punky Brewster. She was beeming with pride and I let her go through her day mimicking a rainbow with a huge smile on her face.


Mom without a manual said...

Yea for bud! And I love hearing about his pride in himself!!!

My son made huge strides in this aspect when I used his favorite computer software. I made a social story and loaded pictures of him at each step of the process. He is one of those guys who memorizes scripts and once he memorized our story he was up and running!!! He just recites it every time.

Here are my ramblings on the matter...

Anyway, great job Bud! I love keeping up on your family! Thanks for sharing with us!

joker the lurcher said...

this reminds me of my son:

and here is a picture i made for him to help with the morning routine -
maybe one showing the various stages of getting dressed might work?

love your blog!