Many of you have probably heard the phrase Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS). I was writing this down for a family the other day when a fellow employee says “I don’t like that word”, refering to stupid of course. Ok, so it’s not nice, but I didn’t make up the phrase! So anyway, I have now changed the phrase to Keep It Simple and Short. I thought this was a great little phrase to keep in mind when doing “RDI activities”. A big struggle as a parent is to continue to push our kids to learn more or do better. So as a result, we introduce complicated activities to our children and end up setting them up for failure. So as we often say, take what you think is simple and simplify even more. Once our kids are competent with it in the simple form, it is time to add a little more complexity – as Nicole put it so nicely in her last post.
So the next part of the phrase now is to keep it short. I don’t want the this term short to be seen as doing tid bits of activities here and there, rather just making it a bit shorter than how you planned it. Keep the kids wanting more so they look forward to rejoining you and doing this again in the future. A problem that we create by engaging our children longer than we should is frustrated kids and parents. This may also result in kids not wanting to do this activity in the future and potentially keeping them from wanting to join in other activities. One way to prevent this from happening is taking the amount of time you think your child will enjoy the activity and shortening it just a bit from there. So I want you to think about the “short” part more as keep them wanting to come back for more. For those of you who are just starting out, the word “short” may literally mean 10 seconds here and there until your child’s competence begins to build and they realize that these moments of interaction with mom and dad are moments they can trust. It’s amazing to watch these 10 seconds of time eventually evolve into 15 minute activities with parents. What a joy to see this interaction take place that parents never thought could happen.
I just got a note from a parent last week that went something like this: “We went to pick out Christmas trees this year, and our son was actually able to understand what we were trying to do. Last year was extremely stressful, but this year it was enjoyable!” What a wonderful note of progress to receive.
Wishing all of you a relaxing and enjoyable holiday break!