The New Year’s resolutions are likely to be fading by now, the hope and anticipation of a new fresh year may already have been replaced by a very long list of tasks, by a huge to-do list and a seemingly insurmountable agenda of aims, goals and objectives.
I find it useful to ask myself the question, “what is the point?”. If I am on a walk with the children, is the point to enjoy each other’s company, is it to meet Aunty at the East Gate at 2pm, or is it to collect 6 things that a squirrel could eat? If the point is to enjoy each other’s company, it actually doesn’t matter if we only walk 500 yards.
The question I need to ask myself is, “are we all enjoying one another’s company?” if not, then I need to switch things up.
There are three examples from my own life that I would like to share. One was a year or so ago when I took Annabelle to the dentist with me for my check-up. The ‘point’ was for Annabelle to have the dentist pair with reinforcement so as she likes that environment if she ever needs dental work in the future. The point was not to have a check-up, although I quickly needed to remind myself of this when I was trying to cajole Annabelle to open her mouth.
Another example was at Christmas time when we were making Christmas cards. I, rather too soon, found myself trying to instruct both Annabelle and Zeph where to place the reindeer antlers and where NOT to place the goggly eyes. So, “what was the point?”. The point was for the children to make their loved ones cards, not for me to make Christmas cards! Trust me, Christmas card making is much more fun when children can place red noses where they choose!
A final example is a game of ‘flying’ with Zeph and Annabelle. We have a tinkerbell fairy which flies in the air when you pull the chord. We all take it in turns to catch the fairy after I pull the chord. The chord is pulled after Zeph is prompted to ask me to ‘fly’ Tinkerbell to whichever step he is ready for. At the moment that he is shaping the ‘f’ sound. The point isn’t that the children take it in turns and it isn’t for them to sit nicely. The point is solely to increase language.