Today I bought Gavin a big boy puzzle. It has 24 pieces, no frame and it's of Mater, "Red Red Race Car" (aka Lightening Mcqueen) and "Scary Combine". We worked on it together 4 times and now he can do it himself. He threw huge fits when I wouldn't help him (we had a ridiculous amount of time outs over this puzzle today), but when I was cleaning up dinner and he saw I was occupied...he did it all by himself. It was awesome. I knew he could, but I was still really impressed when he did. It took him awhile and it took me holding myself back from just popping a few in to help him out, but he problem solved and it worked!!!!!
It made me realize I need to step back more. Even if it means some tantrums because he thinks he needs the help. Sometimes as parents, I think we are so concerned about hurting these little egos that we step in and prevent failure. But failure is learning. Falling down is learning. Spilling is learning. Wetting your pants is learning. Not getting what you want is learning. Putting the pieces in the wrong spot over and over until you get the right one is learning. Today Gavin did all of these. Did it make for a long day...YES! For both Gavin and I. I think we both failed a bit, but we learned. And in the end, I would say all the failure made today a truly successful day.
As I write this, Gavin is watching "Cars" with his Cars puzzle box sitting on the couch beside him. Everytime I check on him, he pats it and says, "Mom, Mater,...I did it!" Yes, because I let you fail. It's awesome kid!