Music to My Ears (Fostering independence, Self-confidence)

Playdate. Were on the way back our home from picking up her friend. Her friend’s mom had asked if we could make cookies as the spontaneous had upended plans at their house to make that. Sure.

I pulled into the grocery store parking lot where we get raw cookie dough and handed them the money.

Me – “Bellina, get the gluten free cookie dough. You know the one we usually get.”

Her – “Yeah, I know.”

Off they went, disappearing into the store.

Five minutes later, they bounded out with the cookie dough and some change. I wondered if my girl’s friend also was nudged to do such things at her home.

Me – “Does your mom nudge you to go in and buy things on your own?”

Her – “No. I wish she did.”

That was music to my ears. Kids want to be given little challenges that help them experience being more competent in life.

Since my girl was quite young, I’ve been nudging her to go up to adults to ask for things. Our first win, years ago, was when she mustered the courage to go up and ask for a to go box at a Panera’s. That was a big deal.

Most notable was when she went into Trader Joe’s with a list of items, got a cart and shopped on her own. It had taken some nudging and persuasion to get her to do that one, but she was beaming with pride after she pulled off.

Being that my girl is more naturally introverted, these nudges are as much about self-confidence in dealing with adults as they are about forming life skills. I steadily nudge her, month after month, so she’s used to eventually mustering up the courage.

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