Saturday, January 16, 2010

Making the bed the ML way

I love Mediated Learning.
It has taught us how to train up our children in a very helpful, effective way.

"I said, 'Make your bed!!!' "
My frustration level was rising. This was the third time I had told my four year old to make her bed. We go through this frustrating routine every morning.

Bing! The light goes on as I realize that there is some BLOCKING going on. My child and I are approaching a situation and routinely failing--causing our relationship to be hurt and my child is left feeling defeated.

I took a moment to strategize and here's what I came up with.

Intentionality and Reciprocity:
The goal is to have my child know how to make her bed competently.

Here's what happened:

"Hey, Boo. " I sat down on the bed and got on eye level with my daughter. "So, we've been having a bit of a frustrating morning with making the bed, huh?"
"Yeah," she says softly.
"You know, I wonder if there is a way that you and I can get this bed made together so that we aren't fighting with each other (Optimistic Alternative)."
"Yeah, you can do it, Mom."
I laugh. "Well, I could do it for you, but part of being a family is about learning to help each other out and taking care of what belongs to us (Infuse Meaning). Whose bed are we sitting on?"
"Right. Do you want to learn how to take care of what belongs to you?"
"I guess so. But I don't know how."
"Remember earlier this morning when you washed your hands for the very first time all by yourself?" (Bridging)
"Oh yeah! I even turned the taps on and off and used soap and everything."
"You did! And you did a very good job at it. Last week, you didn't know how to do all of that by yourself and today you did. Do you think you if we practice making your bed that in a few weeks you'll know how to do it on your own?"
She just shrugs.
"I believe you will. But first we need to know how to make a bed. What do you think we should do first?"
"Ummmmm...I don't know."
"What do we put on our bed?"
"Oh yeah," a little giggle escapes. "A blanket."
"That's right. What do we do with that blanket?"
"I pull the top of the blanket nice and straight at the top."
"I nod, "And then what?"
"You straighten the bottom and pull it tight."
"I can do that today with you. Will you help me so that you can learn how to do it too?"
A happy smile and a nod.

We work together to make the bed and we get it done. I praise my daughter for her accuracy and precision. And we leave the room holding hands.

A mediated moment success!

I'm still learning how to work this into our home life but I have learned so far to focus on the core of Mediated Learning and to ask questions. I'm sure in the days ahead I will have many blunders to share and hopefully they will serve as a way for both of us to learn more.

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