Went to go pay for a half-month of daycare and I worked it out with his mom to also pick up my main man and take him back to my place until his grandma – “Mimi – came to get him.
I made sure to check out the artwork he created at school: a map and the number 5.
I always let him know I’m proud of, and interested in, the art he creates. On the way to my house we talked about the existence of rules; why there are rules. The topic came up when we began discussing traffic signals. We also discussed why – how, even though street lights are our rules for cars – we still have to pay attention to other cars, because not everyone follows the rules. It’s our job to be safe by following rules AND paying attention.
I take pride in talking to my son as if he’s an adult. I believe this helps a child’s maturity strengthen. Because of this, I really feel he – 3 years old – was understanding the message on following rules and paying attention. I love turning a car ride into a learning experience with him.
We took a detour on the way back to the house because he asked to see our “old house” and finally ended up at the house.
When we got there, I asked what he wanted to do to kill the time before his “Mimi” picks him up:
“Is SpongeBob on? Can you turn him on please? Oh, oh! Turn on Ninja Turtles Please!”
“Yea, yea, I can check bud. hold on a sec.”
About that time, Mimi knocked on the door. I didn’t expect her to be here for another 30 minutes, but that works just fine.
“Can I have some of those coconut candies daddy please?”
“Yea, you were good at school so you can have some. How many you want?”
“Five? Just grab a small handful man.”
“Is this 5?”
“Ha that’s more than five. It’s actually a little over, um, 10. You can count it when you get in Mimi’s car.”
I counted 11.
“Benn, you ready to go?” After a few minutes of him bouncing around showing his grandma some toys he thought were neat. I handed her some fliers from school and he asked for some more candy. I obliged.
The cool thing that happened next, is that I gave him another handful, but not before asking him how many were in my hand. He not only counted “seven,” but when I told him we’re gonna add seven and he can count the whole bag in Mimi’s car, he counted the whole bag on the spot. Maybe he was showing off. Maybe he was actually focused on trying to count them. I’m not sure what his reason was, but he counted: “eighteen!”
Eighteen? Wow… that’s a big number for him to count…usually he doesn’t even count all the fingers on both hands…
“You’re right bud!! Good job man! I need a high-five for that.”
Like I mentioned, I try to reward him by showing my genuine pride in him, and I also acknowledged he did a great job. Just like rewarding him with candy for being good at school, this reinforces good habits.