Half out of knowing Colin is old enough to do some basic problem solving, and half out of having it up to here with being needed every 30 seconds for something, I figured it was high time Colin learned to think on his own before bringing his problems to me.
I had a chance to put this into practice the other day. This was the result:
Colin: Mommy, I want to touch that!
Mommy: Colin, I don't know what you're pointing at. Tell me what it is.
Colin: My artwork. (displayed on the wall behind our kitchen table)
Colin: Can I touch it?
Colin: But it's too high!
Mommy: Well, what could you do about that?
Colin: Can you lift me up?
Mommy: No, I'm making dinner.
Colin: But I want to touch it!
Mommy: Well, can you think of another way?
(Colin pauses for a few moments, thinking)
Colin: Well, I could get the stool from upstairs.
Colin: Or I could stand on a chair. But if I did that I would have to be very careful.
Mommy: Both of those solutions would work great.
Colin: I think I'll stand on the chair.
(Colin then proceeds to gently move a kitchen chair over to the wall, climbs very gingerly up, holds tightly onto the back of the chair, and touches the artwork. After a moment, he climbs down and returns the chair to the table. Finished, he runs off.)
It worked! It actually worked! He solved his problem and I kept my sanity for another 10 minutes!