5 Ways to Encourage Your Little Child’s Independence
Most parents are aware of the importance of encouraging children’s independence early on, but often do not know when to start and how to do it. The first step is to know that independence happens gradually and the best time to stimulate the little ones is in the simplest activities of the day to day. A baby may be able to hold the bottle by itself, for example.
Habits of independence influence the development of the child in the most diverse areas, such as motor coordination, logical reasoning, organization, and responsibility.
Yes, your child is as part of you. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to let it slip away. But if you recognize the importance of encouraging the child’s independence early on, there are at least five simple ways to put this incentive into practice.
1. Teach your child to organize objects
From a year and a half old, your child already understands simple orders and can begin to participate in small tasks such as storing his own shoes in the right place and putting the laundry in the basket. You can encourage helping and giving directions, but let it do it yourself.
From two to three years old, the child can learn how to organize the toys themselves. This common activity develops logical mathematical thinking (separation of pieces according to some kind of criterion – like color, shape or type of toy), it requires planning, attention and responsibility.
2. Get dressed alone
Dressing and putting on one’s own makes the child develop motor coordination, laterality, the organization of logical thinking. Although simple, these acts require the child to process and organize a range of mental information before putting the actions into practice.
You can help in these activities by teaching your child little tricks, for example:
The seam of the clothing is inside and the label behind.
The central seam of the pants is under the navel.
The shirt’s print is usually forward.
Whenever possible, use elastic or velcro clothing, as children often have difficulty handling zippers, buttons and shoelaces.
3. Bath time and brushing teeth
This is an activity that he needs to learn calmly and patiently. Today, at bath time, pass the loofah and soap to your child and orient him, letting him wash himself. The same applies to brushing teeth.
4. Teach Your Child to Make Choices
If you want your child to have self-confidence, he must demonstrate that he believes in them and their ability to make good decisions – respecting the limitations of each age. An effective way to encourage children’s independence is to let them express their points of view, their ideas.
Keep the dialogue with your child and stop to listen. Encourage your child to talk; Ask for his opinion and wait for the answer. It is important to work out the question well so that the answer is well thought out (for example, instead of asking “how was school today?”, Ask “what was the coolest thing about school today?”).
5. Encourage small problems
Allow your children to overcome small difficulties on their own, without interference (while protecting them in dangerous situations, of course).
By encouraging you to think alone of solutions to simple problems, you create favorable conditions for the development of the child’s autonomy.
It is important to remember that working the autonomy of the children is an exercise in attempts that requires patience. Probably your child will not be able to master a certain task the first time and this is part of the process.
All learning involves several phases: the initiative, the attempts, dealing with the frustration of the mistake, being perseverant to try again, knowing how to seek help and trying again to achieve. It’s like that in life, is not it?
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