She watched Emma, our 3 1/2-year-old daughter, as she circled her chair at the dining room table and tried a few times to climb up. She made it eventually and then struggled to get her feet out from under her so she could sit comfortably. Deb and I were distracted, talking to our friend. We didn't even notice it.
So often, she said, when a parent sees their child struggling like that, they instinctively will just go and pick them up and plop them down on the chair without thinking. It wasn't our intention at that moment to let her struggle and figure out how to get onto the chair herself, so no gold star for us. It was an accident, but it is such an important lesson.