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We all hope that our children will be capable of doing things for themselves. So we strive to help them become independent and confident little people. In a best world children would get skills swiftly and smoothly grow into independent people. but in the real world, this growth often moves across a bumpy road!
Often two scenarios play out as children grow.
The first scenario
At times children fight for their independence, even as their parents feel they are not yet ready to manage the situation. often young children want to “do it myself” even when they are not quite capable. This can be tough for parents for several reasons:
– the task may not be completed appropriately because the child lacks the needed skills
– the child ends up feeling frustrated
– the task takes much, much longer to complete and parents typically don’t have the luxury of extra time so they feel frustrated
In this case, it is valuable for parents to “set their child up for success” by adjusting the task to a lot more closely fit their child’s skill level. getting dressed is a prime example. find pants with elastic waists, tee shirts without buttons and shoes that slip on easily. Or, in another instance, allow your child to set the table with plastic plates and bowls. show him pictures of how the finished product must look (where to place the napkin, fork, spoon, and plate) or demonstrate a skill before encouraging your child to try it so that he has a model to guide him.
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Patience is the crucial here. look for opportunities when timing is not crucial and give your child the chance to complete a challenging task on his own. children become independent when they have opportunities to practice skills and prosper over time.
If time is an issue, let your child know that he will have the chance to “do it himself” on a day when you are not rushing. then make that opportunity happen for him soon.
The second scenario
This involves the child who actually enjoys having his parents do everything for him. At times, especially when the clock is ticking, this seems like the best alternative for parents. By doing it themselves, parents can get the job done swiftly and to their satisfaction. but in the long run, this can also be tough for several reasons:
– children can get increasingly demanding as they get older and expect to have their wishes approved – pronto!
– parents these days have a terrific deal on their plates already, and doing things for a child that he could do for himself is aggravating and exhausting
– the child loses opportunities to get skills
– the child does not get confidence in his abilities and may hesitate when presented with new or challenging tasks
Stepping back is the crucial in this situation. parents need to often take a deep breath and enjoy as their child attempts a task. It may not be done well or quickly, but remember that your child is learning to do things for himself and feel satisfied with his efforts. and once again, setting your child up for success will encourage him to attack new things rather than ask a parent or other adult to do it for him. demonstrations or support is vital in situations where children are nervous about failing and like to not try at all. When children have a good chance of succeeding, they can kick back and work to complete a task. letting a child know that you believe he can prosper also goes a long way to helping him feel ready to tackle new projects. and praising his efforts will help him feel pleased that he tried.
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As children continue to technique new new tasks and have opportunities to succeed, they begin to believe that they are capable. and you are well on your way to helping your child grow into an independent and confident person.
For information on helping your child develop crucial school-readiness skills, please check out www.schoolsparks.com for a kindergarten readiness test and hundreds of complimentary kindergarten worksheets.
Renee Abramovitz is a a former preschool and kindergarten teacher who retired in 2008 to become a “full-time grandma” to her four stunning grandsons. She is passionate about the idea that all parents are their child’s first and a lot of crucial teacher and strives to give parents the tools and confidence they need to successfully work with theirbarn hjemme. Renee deler ideer for å jobbe med små barn på www.schoolsparks.com hvor hun bruker en gratis barnehageberedskapstest Foreldre kan ta for å undersøke barnets beredskap til å starte skolen pluss hundrevis av hundrevis av gratis barnehage -regneark for foreldre å bruke hjemme med barna sine .
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