Of Independence and Accomplishments

as you can see, she is perfectly
happy w/ the dress as is...

It never fails to amaze me just how early independence can be developed, the largest example of which is Bria, one of the littler kiddos I watch. Don't get me wrong, all of them are pretty independent, but Bria is easily the most so, and at a pretty early age. She just seems to want to do everything herself. Where the other kids will ask for help, she seems more inclined to try things herself first, before asking me for assistance. This will usually mean using chairs and tables to get things that are out of her reach, using toys to build barriers if she doesn't want the other kids to bother her, or simply trying something over and over again until it either A. frustrates her enough to ask for help or B. suits her just fine.

Take, for instance, the yellow and white flower dress in the dress up box. The other kids will usually ask for help while dressing up, but no Bria. She puts the dress on herself and wears it however it happens to hang on her that day, not really caring that it isn't on right. She's simply proud of herself for getting it on at all. And that's where accomplishment comes in.

There are many MANY perks that come with being an adult, but one thing that kids have on us is the fact that as we grow older, we become harder critics. Kids, however, are far more content to be pleased with just doing things, regardless of whether or not they are successful in their endeavors. Bria is more than happy to convert the dress to a skirt and will wear it that way all day without so much as complaining about it, and if you bring attention to it, she is happy as a clam and just beams with pride. Why? Because she did it herself. She didn't need any help.

Andersen's accomplishments can be seen on
all over his face.
Camden tends to find accomplishment in the smaller things, be it making a basket with the little basketball or connecting two trains together. Most common is when he makes a gun or a sword or a baton or whatever out of the connecting toys we have in the nursery. More often than not he will have constructed the exact same thing each time, but he is just as proud when he says his creation is a gun as when he says it's a sword, and so on and so forth.

Likewise, Andersen can be proud of himself simply for doing something. It doesn't matter what it is... it could be feeding himself or crawling across the floor or making it halfway up the slide in the wrong direction. The kid is just pleased when he does something. The other day, he managed to climb underneath a chair, and was pleased as punch for most of the day.

I feel like, as adults, we have this need to be successful and do everything right, and we lose the magic of simply doing something. It's nice to constantly be reminded day in and day out that just waking up is an accomplishment. Maybe we should focus a little more on being happy about what we can do, and less on being unhappy about what we can't.

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