The Jigsaw Law

Shhh! Just between you and me, Ned’s on a secret mission to the northern hemisphere. I’m not saying that Shag is involved, but let’s just say that it involves secret caches of Maketu Pies behind enemy lines. To cover my undercover moments, I’ve selected a few choice moments from the Road To Redemption.

Originally published 27 July 2010

When the LittleOnes were little, MrsDavy created The Jigsaw Law.  It is one of those laws which I have a hard time following because I have a hard time remembering it because it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Like most things to do with children.

The Jigsaw Law states that whenever a child is attempting a new skill (such as doing jigsaws) the role of the adult is to:

sit on your hands and be quiet.

That’s it.  See, I told you it didn’t make sense, well certainly for most males I know anyway.  If we see a kid having trouble doing a jigsaw we’re going to jump straight in there and show them how it’s done lickety-split.  We’re not going to sit on the sidelines and watch them take forever to put that piece in there and that one there so that we can move on to getting some ice cream.

Which – apparently – is exactly the wrong thing to do, it getting in the way of the child actually

  1. learning how to do it themselves and
  2. having fun.

Who knew?  (Okay, okay, so obviously MrsDavy knew, but who told her?  And why did they tell her and not me, so that I could have looked half-way competent?)

There’s a Corollary to the Jigsaw Law, which goes: 

the real role of the adult is toprovide a clean flat surface and make sure the jigsaw has all its pieces.

That is, provide the right environment and tools for the kid to be able to succeed at the task.

So when LittleDavyOne was doing her homework the other night (regrettably having grown out of doing Wiggles jigsaws somewhere along the way to starting college), it was apparently a mistake for me to make some intelligent remarks about how it could be improved if you did it this way, and then moved that to there, and had you thought about this?

Because, whether the child is a toddler or a teenager, if you break The Jigsaw Law you get exactly the same result: a crying child and a 90 minute lecture from MrsDavy.

And no ice cream.

About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
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