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After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Progress of Independence

I've been a bit concerned lately by how much T.V. Maddie would watch if I let her. 
My concerns are actually twofold:

1)  I want her to cultivate her imagination and her concentration, and I'm not sure watching so much T.V. helps with that. 
2) I also really want her to know that she doesn't always have to  be entertained. 

So we tried a little experiment yesterday.  Once Maddie had watched an hour of T.V. in the morning, our T.V. looked like this the rest of the day.  
I wish I could take credit for this great idea, but I found it on another blog and now I cannot find it again to link up.

We put on some music {thank you pandora internet radio!}
And Maddie really surprised me! 

I intentionally decided not to engage Maddie in various activities to see how she would spend her time.  

I think there was something about that silly blanket over the T.V. because she began playing with her toys like I haven't seen her do in a long time.  
She gathered up all of her stuffed animals and began stacking them all up on the couch.  
I watched as she carefully placed each one on top of the other, and when one slipped, she just picked it up and found another spot to place it.  
Yay for problem solving!!!  
Once she finished her hard work (which required a great deal of concentration - check!) I was curious if she would seek praise from me.  
I remained quiet, and she threw her hands up and gave herself a yay, but never sought my approval.  
Our eyes caught each others though and I think my smile said all I needed to.  

Next, Maddie went over to her puzzles...
She acted out each of the animals on the puzzle...(imagination- check!)
And then, when she was finished she put them away...
without being told!!

In just one day I witnessed the attributes we all try so hard to teach our kids:
-self satisfaction
-problem solving

It is so satisfying to see them unfold, and I think part of why I'm seeing it now is because I took the time to watch and observe them.  Not only was our T.V. off limits for the day but so was my computer. 
I've been worrying about this but it's been right there, under my nose the entire time. 
 I just haven't stopped to really notice them. 

Taking time to stop and smell the roses, weeds in our yard, the progress of independence in a young toddler is something I hope to do more often.

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