My son has a hard time remembering to close the door behind himself. I know many children have this issue… even a few husbands may. =) I recently said to our team of therapists… is there a program to help him with this? I was half-joking, half-serious.
Then the other night I had an epiphany. It didn’t really change the situation, but having an understanding behind why it happens sure helps! I was putting our three-year-old daughter to bed. Owen opened her door and came in to ask me a question. He does this often. I gave him an answer or told him to wait a few minutes and I would be there to help him. He walked out of the room. As usual, leaving the door open behind himself. I reminded him to close it and then the epiphany…
Normally we just think kids are forgetful or absentminded. But as I watched him walk away from her room I could see that once he turned and walked away, his mind was completely off of what he left and his mind was now on where he was headed. This may be very typical for all kids. Obviously there’s a point when children become more aware of other people’s perspectives and this awareness becomes natural.
In the meantime, my observation helps me better understand WHY this happens. It’s much easier to work on “fixing” something or developing a new skill when you start with the original skill deficit. It’s the same idea with weeds! Don’t treat just what emerges from the surface, that’s just the beginning. You have to go below the surface to make change.