parenting question

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GK, our four year old, would rather work herself up into a complete lather than ask for help. many times her father or i will hear her crying or even screaming in frustration because she cannot __fill in the blank__. rather than ask dad to tie her shoe or mom to turn her shirt right-side out for her, she'll try to do it herself until she's so frustrated she can barely speak. even our two older children will get frustrated and lament, "why can't you just ask for help?"

at first i was proud thinking she's such a go-getter, so independent. i know she isn't shy -- she isn't refusing to ask for help because she's painfully shy or afraid to ask. but now i'm wondering if there might not be another reason for her reluctance to seek help. this is such a foreign concept for me. i'm typically independent; still, i do not have a problem seeking or receiving help. any thoughts?


Having two older siblings who don't need help with these sorts of things could be the impetus for her to tackle tasks with unusual tanacity and vigor. She may (unconciously) have high expectations of herself or underestimated the difficulty of the task at hand. Whatever the reason I wouldn't worry about it in terms of a personality detractor or anything.

You could try and find some team work activities that she can ablely participate in that would emphasize trust building or cooperation, but truthfully I think she will outgrow this to a certain extent with maturity.

Same problem here with our four-year-old.

We've instituted the "Three Tries" rule. Zooey can try something three times and then he needs to ask for help. And by help, we just explain how X is done and coach him through it -- he still ends up doing it himself most of the time.

He hated to ask for help because when he did, we usually stepped in and did the thing for him, rather than really helping. Don't know if this is the same with your daughter or not, but once I figured it out, we came up with the Three Tries solution and changed our help approach.

But look out -- lately this has backfired into Zooey not really trying much and saying, "You do it." Siiigh. If I could just stay one step ahead of that kid!

Yea, it sounds like a 4- year old thing - have it here too. I just let it ride.

Thank you Summa Mamas for adding my blog to your links. I consider it an honor. Thank you.


Oh, Donna, it's WE who are honored--by having people that come by and read our silliness and seriousness!

This will probably get better over time. Our Eddie still can act this way (he's only 10!)....just hell bent on doing things himself. And he will get all red in the face and hyperventilate etc. All in all, he still has a lot of that personality trait but it is his reactions that are becoming age appropriate. (most of the time....) And if things don't work out right, he'll just leave the job undone. (Hey, that sounds a lot like his pater!)

Hate to tell you this folks, but I STILL have trouble with asking for help on stuff. I will walk across the room to grab something that my husband is sitting right nest to rather than ask him to get it for me. I have imprved somewhat in the last 10 years or so (he tells me). But it is still rough.
I think that part of it may be age appropriate behavior, but part of it may also be inborn temperament and may be even a response to the way that the other kids are being parented.
I think that Sparki's 3 tries rule is an excellent suggestion.

thanks to everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. alicia, you make me laugh out loud. i do think i'm going to try sparki's idea.



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This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on March 31, 2004 1:57 PM.

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