We are having a problem of helplessness in our house. There is a 3 year old who suddenly cannot do things like put on his pants and shoes. He's pretty sure that he needs help to do these tasks - some of them he has been doing for nearly a year on his own.
It makes me crazy - mostly because it makes us late - daily. It's a problem that generally occurs after nap, in the time that I was hoping to make it to the library early so we could play for a while before Mr. Crum finishes work. Tantrums ensue, and mama does not help with every task.
I feel mean because I refuse to help my crying child. I've seen it before though - so many times. When I worked at the children's home so many of the kids refused to do work that they could do - because in the past they got the help.. and they learned that if they were helpless, someone else would do the work for them. Sometimes the "learned helplessness" would show up with chores, other times with school work or therapy.
Now, I recognize that Monkey is only 3 and a half. However - I do not want him to think that laziness makes it okay to refuse a task. It makes me later than I want to be a lot of times, it causes fits a lot of times - but he is learning.
In fact, it's been 23 minutes now that he's been getting dressed - he's now got pants on, 1 sock, and 1 shoe. The rest will happen shortly, or once again we won't have time to play at the library. That would be a bummer.