X was recently given this leap frog toy during his birthday. The objective was to drop the ball into the hole at the top and find which ‘shoe’ the ball could be found in.
Z was over zealous and kept taking over the toy. We insisted that he let X play first and not interfere with X’s independent learning. Z was rather miffed initially.
We let X explore but all he wanted to do was to hold the balls in his hands. We had to pry his fingers open and force him to drop the balls into the toy. X was furious when we forced him to release the balls and even smashed the free ball in his other hand on the floor!
We got tired of repeating the action with him and let both boys to their own devices.
A day later, I was surprised to see X playing rather proficiently with the toy. He was able to drop the balls into the toy and seek out the balls by flipping up the shoes happily, unlike how he was flipping up the shoes frustratedly the day before.
This certainly showed me that he learned more from Z’s demonstration than ours, and that Z had been able to do it repeatedly happily as opposed to our lack of patience.
It taught me that while we knew how to do certain tasks, we would not always possess the right aptitude to impart the skills. Z did a way better job to teach X to play independently through his own means. I seriously could not recall an example where I was able to teach Z to pick up such skills as fast in the past.
Z proved to be the better mentor. Kids ruled.