We are having a home day and it feels so good. No rush, no stress, just a slow meandering type of day. I have been pottering about the kitchen and Nick has been parking off on the sofa, either listening to music or playing on the iPad.
Now, I am not one to sit back and let an opportunity pass me by (I exaggerate!!); so I figured that today could be used to connect with my boy.
I decided to invite Nick to join me in a few activities, using an RDI approach.
For each engagement I chose the roles that we were going to play, the comfortable and familiar pattern to start off with, the challenge that I was going to introduce and the style of language to use. I reminded myself to take it slow, pause a lot and give Nick time to hear the info, process the info and then react. Easier said than done I know..... but after a while on the RDI road, it becomes a piece of cake (cough, cough!).
In the process of cleaning up the kitchen I found a game that I had bought for Nick. Woohoo, great start to doing *stuff*. The boy, who was all nice and snug on the sofa, was very happy to turn off his music and take a look at what I had to offer. We spent a few minutes going through the game and taking turns to collect letters in order to make simple words.
I then got a bee in my bonnet and emptied out the very messy bottom shelf of my pantry cupboard. I took a look at the dust, crumbs and tiny bits of rubbish that were gracing the cupboard and had an *aha* moment. We could use the small dustpan and brush to sweep out the mess. After hunting high and low for what was needed, I stood next to Nick with dustpan in hand (yep, he was back on that couch!); and casually mentioned that I needed some help cleaning the cupboard. Well, he was up in a flash, although needed a little encouragement to put the iPad to one side (I frowned and gazed from the iPad to the bench). Thereafter, we worked so well together, one person holding the dustpan and the other working the brush. We then swapped roles. It went very smoothly and Nick seemed to enjoy the challenge.
Due to the cupboard clean out, I had a pile of junk now sitting in my Butler's sink. Another opportunity to invite Nick to help! I dragged in the large rubbish bin from the garage and together we took turns to transfer the rubbish from the sink to the bin. I used non verbal communication for this activity to slow down Nick's actions and encourage him to look to me for guidance. I felt a little pang when Nick picked up his old cassette player. He looked at it, fiddled around with the buttons and then put it in the bin. Out with the past!!
I was also left with a heap of stuff to keep.... but it was in need of a wash. Our next activity involved washing one item at a time and then passing that item to the other person. I scaffolded the activity by modeling how to use a dish brush; while making comments about what I was doing (talking aloud). Nick was so chilled and also very comfortable about swapping roles with me. It was interesting to note that he really battled with holding and washing at the same time. Something for us to work on another time.
After such a busy morning, it was time for Nick's lunch. Together we collected the fruit and veg needed for his juice. As I prepped the fruit, I invited Nick to help me cut them into pieces. Then I introduced the challenge of peeling the carrots. It just blows my mind how relaxed Nick was when confronted with something that is potentially hard for him. Of course he battled BUT he tried. I was there right beside him, guiding him when needed and assisting when required.
I always used to stress over what sort of RDI activities to do with Nick! Crazy really. In fact, it is so helpful to just take a look at my day and the things that I want to do. I can then fine tune my plans to include Nick in the process. #Mindfulguiding is my middle name! :-)
Do you find it easy to include your child?