Kids can be self centered and I often think about how to teach my little T about good deeds.
Last fall, we ordered a collection of the first six Clifford books, because T was interested in the adventures of the big red dog.
One of the first stories was “Clifford’s Good Deeds.” The story made me chuckle because Clifford had great intentions to help his community but often made things worse – which reminded me of how T can be at times.
We chatted after – and very quickly, because I only ever get T’s attention for a short time, about what good deeds are and why they are important.
Like other kids with FASD, of which T is suspected to have, we experience the extremes of emotions.
When he is very disregulated, it’s screaming and hitting. But thankfully, we experience more of the positive extreme. At his best moments, he is very sweet and caring.
One of his previous teachers noted to us that he has a good core. Despite some of the challenging past weeks, we still believe in this.
The best way to teach young children is to model the desired behaviour.
I don’t always get this right, especially in my stressed out moments. But we’re all a work in progress!
Last week, during a stressful day of juggling virtual learning and work, Ma messaged to ask me to pick up groceries for her.
My initial reaction was of annoyance. I was juggling a lot, many of which were related to her endless appointments, and I wondered why she couldn’t ask someone else to help.
But I calmed down and agreed to help.
The following day, a Saturday, I was on solo parenting duties as the hubby is working weekends all this month.
I asked T to come with me to visit his “Ama” and “Ipo” (his grand aunt) to drop off the groceries.
I gave him the bag to hand to them when we got to the door and I explained beforehand that he was doing a good deed, because he was saving them time from going out in the cold.
After our visit, we played at a new playground in the area and grabbed a slushee after. With kids, it’s all about positive reinforcement!
Coincidentally, T’s class learned about community helpers for social studies this week.
They learned about the different places and people in the community that are helpful, such as schools and teachers, fire stations and firefighters, hospitals and doctors/nurses.
For the assignment, T had to sketch a first draft of his community of helpers. He included a school, playground, firestation and “hospetol.”
T also did a separate journal exercise. He decided to write about his cousin, A, and drew a sweet picture of the two of them playing.
He wrote: “I like to play with A. She is visiting our house in the summer time.”
That evening, he called her on FaceTime to show her his work. He told me that he will give it to her when she visits this summer.