The art of the oops…

The art of the oops...

There is a funny…maybe more ironic…and totally non-scientific phenomenon that I love to call, “doing all the things wrong”.  I am not sure when I figured it out, but I can solidly tell you it was not in a textbook and it didn’t come from a clinical supervisor.  It’s a simple strategy – do things wrong in therapy (but only with the right kids).  Play with toys incorrectly – put things together wrong – make mistakes.  The result?  Some kids get upset.  Some kids get angry.  But almost all kids will communicate to you that it needs to be fixed.  There have been moments where I had kiddos go extreme – and I love it!  These Melissa and Doug race cars and drivers are an awesome opportunity for the oops.  What…the green driver is in the red car?!  And Mr. Yellow is driving blue?!  Holy cow…it’s chaos!!  Frequently, I set them up wrong in the morning – before any of my kids come in. 

So why…what do we do next…

  1. Teach the show…”Teacher Amy, LOOK!!  It’s wrong!!!”
  2. Teach the request…”Can I FIX the cars?” (yup, a question and a verb+noun – it’s like utopia)

There’s another path here…as kids learn language, sometimes they say things incorrectly.  One of my kiddos will mix up pronouns (you/I) and when we are in the motor gym, he will say “You get on swing” (he TOTALLY means I).  So I hop on the swing and start swinging!  He is quick to tell me NO – he knows I’ve done it wrong.  Then we work through the correct phrase – and he thinks about it.  We had one mom whose kiddo kept saying “circle” for chocolate – and she started giving him circles and eating the chocolate herself – he learned the correct word quickly!!

So go for it – find the opportunities to do it wrong – make intentional mistakes – it’s the art of the oops!!  Enjoy!


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