Three year olds- really all toddlers I suppose- have a unique way of being contradictory. Kiki happens to be a fairly confident and independent child, and will nearly always tell me "I can do it my own self" when I try to help her with something.
Try to put her in the carseat. "I can do it my own self".
Try to help her with her shoes. "I can do it my own self".
Try to brush her teeth. "I can do it my own self!"
Tell her Laurie is going to feed you dinner. "I can feed my own self". Ok. Ok. Laurie is going to cook you dinner.
You get the idea. But, when it comes to something I'd like her to try "her own self", she will often times resist. For example, writing her name, or drawing a picture.
Some of it is testing how much control she has, but I can also see that she is afraid to fail. It's interesting to me that even children who I believe we all envy for not being self-conscious have a sense of not wanting to fall short. Even though I am a person generally willing to take personal and professional risks, I've wasted too many opportunities to count because I was afraid I might not succeed.
It's important to me that Kiki believe that trying is the most important thing followed by believing in yourself. Of course, you should always try your best, and more often than not you will succeed, but it's OK if you don't. You certainly won't achieve anything if you don't even give it a shot.
And if you don't accomplish your goal, pick your self up and try again...
So, Kiki has been trying to draw lately (of her own accord), and quite well if you ask me (her mother ;-D). She drew a mushroom which she has proudly hung up in her bedroom with "sticky tape".
And, she made a princess tea party scene with stickers which she then added herself to (orange drawing).
She even drew her curly hair and added fingers to the figure.
She's very pleased with the pictures as are we. But then, I'm just proud of her for trying.