Learning by doing!
My baby girl loves to be Mommy’s helper!
We all want to feel needed. We all want to feel like what we do day to day is important. Many of us love to help others. And children with Down Syndrome are no different in that respect. Faith is a people pleaser, like her mama. She’s taught me that household chores can be fun. When I see how she delights in helping and receiving praise for a job well done, we actually enjoy doing our chores together.
You can see here, Faith’s favorite chores. She loves doing laundry. There’s a specific procedure to follow and she is ALL ABOUT ROUTINE! She learns by watching and doing. I always talk to her and explain, over and over what the steps are for the task. “We get the dirty clothes from the hamper. Next we put them in the washer. Then we add the detergent. Finally, we close the lid and push start.” I say it every time and allow her to do it as much by herself as possible. It also builds her vocabulary in the process, which is a bonus! Of course, I provide lots of exaggerated praise and compliments, which in turn encourages her to keep doing more for herself.
Faith also loves washing dishes. Actually washing, although often playing with the soapy water interests her more than the dishwasher. But hey, whatever works, right moms!?
Juicing is her most recent ‘chore’. As I chop fruits and veggies, Faith puts them in the juicer. Then she gets to push them down with the attachment as I turn it on. We laugh and cheer at the loud noise. Best of all, it’s jam packed with various nutritients, and she drinks it because she took ownership and felt proud helping. It’s WAY better than store bought… Mom Win!
Life skills are so important for children with Down Syndrome. These are skills that teach her how to be self-sufficient and are tasks she will use the rest of her life. My primary goal, other than keeping her healthy and happy, is to teach her how to be self-sufficient. Isn’t that what all parents want for their children? We want our children to learn how to do things for themselves, to learn, to grow and to experience success. Faith is so proud of herself when she’s doing the big-girl chores. You can tell by the huge, beautiful smile on her face!
So to all the other ‘Special Needs Moms’ out there, you are doing a terrific job! Keep the ‘Faith’ 🙂