I have been guiding Nick on how to make his own toast.
Yes, I know that he is nearly 14 and I should have done this years ago!
Pah, such is life!
I have chosen to guide him the RDI way.
For sure, it would be a lot easier for me to tell him what to do....
1. Get the bread from the cupboard and the butter from the fridge
2. Open the packet
3. Take out a slice of bread and put it in the toaster
4. Take out another slice of bread and put it in the toaster.
5. Turn on the toaster
6. Wait for the bread to toast
7. Take the bread out of the toaster
8. Butter the toast
9. Cut the toast
No problem, he could do this as easy as pie (except butter the toast).
HOWEVER, would he be thinking about what he is doing? Would he be planning his next step? What if he dropped a piece on the floor and it was quickly snapped up by the dog? Would he be able to make his toast independently without any prompts?
Hence, I chose to guide him the RDI way, to encourage him to think for himself, to make his own decisions and to also learn from his mistakes.
I decided to take each step of the process slowly and at Nick's pace, although always being mindful about giving him a little challenge... taking that one extra step past his level of competence. We have been doing great and after a few days we have reached the *butter the toast* stage.
I must share with you that we hit a little bump in the process... around Number 6. As in, we had to wait for the toast to cook! Young Nick is not really used to hanging around while the toast is cooking. He generally races over to the stereo and turns on his music. He then grabs some magazines, plonks himself down on the couch and flips through the mags as he listens to the music!
This time his old mum (that's me!) put a spanner in his spokes. As the toaster was turned on, he indicated that he was going to turn on the music. I didn't say, "no". I didn't say, "stay here". I said, "I am waiting for the toast to cook!". Well, would you believe it, he decided to stay with me!
He didn't find it easy to hang around the toaster and during that very first attempt of *waiting for the toast to cook*, he did hop around a bit and get a little stressed. I made the occasional declarative comment...."the toast is cooking", "the toast is nearly ready". At no time did I tell him to, "stay".
Voilà, sure enough, Nick was still there when the toast popped. His choice! :)
It was a challenge for him..... it was his edge plus one.
Fast forward a couple of days and we reach the reason for this blog post.
Waiting for the toast to cook was no longer a challenge for Nick. He felt competent with waiting. He knew that I wasn't going to push him too far beyond his level of competence and he was also in tune with the comments that I made every now and then.
How did I fill in that gap, the waiting period?
Lovely things happen when I pause.
Special things that make the activity much more about the engagement than the actual cooking of the toast.
It's a win win, really...
A wonderful opportunity to engage with each other.
And then, yummy toast at the end!