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Little man was intent on helping me tonight when I was switching laundry from the washer to the dryer, so I took advantage of it. Instead of throwing each piece of clothing directly into the dryer, I handed it to him. I told him to “put it in the dryer,” and he did. Piece by piece by piece. It was so sweet!
By letting him play this “game” I was effectively teaching him to do laundry. I’m also using it as another way to teach him to obey Mama. At eighteen months of age, he can follow basic commands like, “pick it up,” “put it back,” “put it down,” “bring it to Mommy,” and I could go on and on. Stephen handed him a wadded up sheet of paper today and told him to throw it away. I wasn’t sure if Little man knew what that meant, so I led him to the trash can and told him to put it in the trash. He did. He grabbed it back out of the trash can, and I told him to put it back in the trash. Once again, he put it in the trash. I made a big deal out of it, and clapped for him. He had a huge smile on his face and clapped for himself. He was very proud of his accomplishment.
Little ones know and understand so much more than we usually give them credit for. I don’t expect my son to act like an adult, but in treating things like a game, and working with him when he is willing to learn, I am training my son to do things around the house. With a little direction from me, he can get food from the pantry, small pans from the cupboard, and pick small items off the floor for me, as well as pick up his toys and bring me clothes that he can reach. Once Little man has mastered a skill, I no longer make a huge deal out of it when he obeys. I simply thank him. Eventually, he gets to the point where he obeys the first time I tell him to do something. That is my goal anyway; for Little man to obey the first time.
What a joy it is to train my son early! He is definitely Mama’s little helper!