Practice Makes Perfect (or at least a little closer)

Stay the Course- I have been taking my toddler, Hunter, to the local library for a story time dedicated for 2-4 year olds.  It has been a challenge.  While a crowd of kids sit nicely on the carpet and listen to the lady read a book to them, my child prefers to run around the library and push the handicap buttons to open the automatic doors.  Several times I returned frustrated and at least once I left before the event was even over.

Over the past few months we haven’t been consistent in making it to story time.  Sometimes he was sick or maybe we weren’t around but sometimes I just didn’t get us ready and out the door on time.  I decided two weeks ago that if I wanted his behavior to improve I was going to have to commit to making the story time each week.  This consistency, I believe, would have several effects but mostly, it would make it easier for him to remember and build upon his previous experience.

This week was finally different.  I started by talking to Hunter before we left the house and in the car on the way to the library.  I asked him if he was going to sit on the floor with all the other kids and if he was going to listen to the lady read a book.  Although he answered yes to all my questions I’ve learned that is never even close to a guarantee.

When the librarian began to read the book I asked Hunter if he wanted to sit with the rest of the kids on the floor.  He didn’t sit the whole time but he did remain on the carpet with the other kids.  It helped that both books were about trucks, one of his favorite things.  Often he would point to something in the book while calling back to me, ensuring I saw it too.

The second half of this event always includes a craft, usually coloring.  Our first time at story time he barely put two marks on the paper.  This time he filled the page with many, many colors.

One lesson remains to be learned by Hunter at this story time.  Standing in a line.  At the beginning of the event, the kids stand in line to get a sticker as part of an attendance tracker sort of thing.  Also, after they complete their craft they stand in line to show the librarian and get a stamp on their hand and then they get to stamp their own page.  Waiting his turn in a line is a concept Hunter does not yet understand.  However, I am determined to keep exposing him to this experience and with a little of my own patience, he’ll hopefully get it soon.

Any ideas or tricks you have found to help your toddler learn new things faster?  I welcome both affirming and contradicting thoughts and experiences in the comments below.  Please be polite.

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