While it's lovely to know your child needs you and it feels good to take care of them and do things for them, it's crucial to strike a balance between caring for them and allowing them to grow independent. As a parent, you understand how crucial it is to teach your preschooler to be self-sufficient and to stand on their own two feet.
Allowing your child to do activities they enjoy on their own or asking for help here and there is an easy way to encourage independence in toddlers.
How can we foster independence in children in their early years?
Here are some easy things to incorporate into your children's everyday routine;
1. Allow Children To Resolve Their Differences
Learning to cope with others and manage interactions and relationships with them is an important component of being an independent adult.
Conflict when playing is one of the earliest experiences of dealing with others. Allow your children to resolve the majority of their disputes with siblings and friends on their own. Obviously, there may be moments when you must intervene, but for the most part, you should let them acquire the ability to settle disagreements on their own.
When your child comes to you to complain about someone or something that has happened, ask them how they will handle the problem or what they can say to make it better.
It is all too easy to step in and reprimand the other child. It will then become far too easy to rely on you to solve every difficulty in the future.
2. Make Your Children Accountable
Allowing toddlers to acquire a feeling of responsibility is one of the best ways to encourage independence in them. This will not occur when children are unduly sheltered from consequences.
Children must understand cause-and-effect relationships and how their behaviors have good and bad repercussions.
Fixing every problem, refusing to let your child experience disappointment, and failing to provide adequate discipline will hinder your child from knowing how adult life will be.
As adults are held responsible for their actions, childhood is the best period to learn this lesson.
3. Don’t Do Things They Can Do On Their Own
Allow your kid to perform certain things on their own, such as dressing or brushing their teeth.
You are taking away their independence by doing everything for them just because it is simpler or faster.
The worst that may happen is that your child goes to school wearing his or her uniform that is backwards or inside-out, as well as mismatched shoes. But, it is not the end of the world.
4. Make Them Do The Chores
You don't have to offer your children a long list of back-breaking activities, but some light tasks should be expected every day.
Taking plates to the table, emptying the dishes, and assisting you in hanging the laundry are all simple tasks that teach responsibility.
You shouldn't need to reward everyday tasks since it sends the message that they don't need to help unless they are rewarded.
5. Give Them Choices
Learning to make your own choices and make wise decisions is an important part of gaining independence.
Instead of laying down the law for everything or always saying yes or no to requests, pre-empt a situation by offering options.
Give choices about activities.
Today, after school, would you like to visit grandma or go for a swim?
Would you like soup or curry for dinner?
Would you like to take out the blocks or do painting?
Would you like to apologise to your brother for hurting him and come play outside with us or wait inside until you feel ready to say sorry?
It is important that your child makes decisions and weighs the situation frequently, rather than being told what to do and how to do it.
These 5 ideas will help you teach your preschooler to be independent and learn important life skills.
The earlier these habits are established, the sooner they will become the norm. It is actually too late to begin teaching independence once a child enters primary school.
When your child is self-sufficient, they will have a tremendous feeling of competence, and you will know that you have created a happy, capable person.