Parenting Resource

Jonah, Age 19 Months, Learning Self Confidence

May 19, 2010

Watch to see how Jonah works at buttering his own bagel with some help and coaching from his mother, Claudine.

To Think About:

  • How does Jonah use his voice and actions to communicate with his mother about during this activity?
  • What does Claudine do to help Jonah accomplish the tough work of getting the cream cheese on the bagel?
  • What might Jonah be learning about herself during this interaction?

What the Experts Say About This Interaction

What Jonah does:

  • Works hard to put cream cheese on the bagel himself.
  • Lets mom help him and learns by imitating her.
  • Verbalizes the word “bagel”, showing his growing language skills.
  • Shows that he is thinking through and planning his actions when he takes the knife with cream cheese on it and points to the bagel, as if to say, “Now I’ll do this half.”

What Claudine does:

  • Helps Jonah put cream cheese on the bagel—giving him the support he needs (i.e., showing him how to use the knife by putting her hand over his) to accomplish the task without doing it all for him. This builds Jonah’s confidence that he is a capable person.
  • Lets Jonah do it himself, even if it isn’t perfect.
  • Uses lots of language to “narrate” what Jonah is doing. This builds * Jonah’s language skills, as well as his thinking skills as he takes in what the various steps are to complete this task.

Think About How Your Child Is Learning These Skills

Think about how your baby is developing self-confidence through her everyday interactions with you:

  • How do you know when your child is feeling good about himself?
  • What kinds of activities or interactions make him feel confident?
  • What do you think makes him feel a lack of confidence? Why? What can you do to help him feel better able to tackle this challenge?

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