I wrote out a little schedule of events for Nick. It went something like this;
Hang out the washing
Nick hasn't been so keen on helping out with chores of late. It could be a teenage thing or perhaps the pull of the screen is stronger! Whatever the reason, I decided to give him advance warning.
The list helped enormously. He willingly turned off the iPad when I *invited* him to come and help hang out the washing (a small load of towels).
I had already decided on our roles and what I hoped to achieve during the activity. Initially my role was to hang up the washing and Nick's role was to hand me the pegs. Easy peasy. A relaxed and familiar co-regulatory pattern for us. Once that was established, I wanted to provide Nick with a little challenge and give him the opportunity to make an independent decision on how his role was going to change.
I approached this challenge by pegging the left hand side of the towel and then pausing. I didn't say anything or make any sort of gesture while waiting for Nick's response. To my delight he collected a peg and clipped it onto the towel. With each towel thereafter, I paused and gave Nick the opportunity to decide what he wanted to do. Each time he would take his own turn, although at times, the peg was placed in the middle of the towel or otherwise he would clip on two or more pegs. Although this didn't cause me any concern, I did spotlight his pegging by making little declarative comments..... 'That's a great place to put a peg'. 'Wow, you have put on lots of pegs'. The fact that he was making his own decisions was far more important to me than how many pegs he used!
The activity went well and we worked nicely together. I am thrilled that my plan to pause frequently and give Nick the time and space to make his own decisions, encouraged him to come up with a plan. Self discovery can be very powerful.