It’s been said that the goal of parenting is not to raise children, but rather to raise adults. As parents, we want to foster independence in our children and encourage them to think for themselves. Our end game is for them to be successful in the world on their own.
This process can begin when they’re very young. It’s sometimes hard to allow children to be independent because it takes some things out of our control. However, while it may be easier for you to handle certain chores or activities for your children, doing so robs them of the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and develop important skills.
There are a few simple steps you can take the will allow your child to develop more independence:
- Create an environment designed for success. Put things where kids can reach them. Provide stools, light switch extenders, faucet extenders: whatever the children need to make it easier for them to do simple tasks by themselves. Offer child-sized furniture and easy to access arts and crafts supplies and other activities. Your goal should be to make it easy for them to get their own snacks, blow their own noses, clean up after themselves and access the materials they need to do the work they feel is important.
- Don’t underestimate your child’s abilities. Even a child as young as 5 or 6 can use a butter knife to cut things and help make dinner. Young children are capable of simple chores, and they’re enthusiastic about helping. Accomplishing helpful tasks makes them feel more confident and builds their self-esteem.
- Initially, supervise but don’t take over. It’s not easy to maintain a hands-off approach, but it’s important for your children to learn how to do things for themselves. As long as they’re not in any danger of hurting themselves, give them the space to figure out how to solve problems, find solutions and self-correct mistakes. Allow extra time for them to accomplish things on their own without your assistance.
- Make clean-up easy. A small child can put things away, wipe off tables and even sweep floors if given tools that are easy to reach and manipulate. Non-toxic cleaning supplies, appropriately sized and easy to reach, offer children opportunities to clean up after themselves, developing important life-long skills.
- Give them plenty of opportunities to develop life skills. When you let your small children help prepare dinner, work in the garden and clean up, you’re helping them strengthen and develop motor skills as well as practical abilities. This teaches them independence and puts them on the path to success in life.
At MSOD Shipra, we believe in fostering children’s natural curiosity and giving them the tools to learn and grow in a safe and nurturing environment. Our pre-primary students have nearly endless opportunities to develop their motor skills and senses. In fact, throughout our program, children are given the opportunity to learn, grow and showcase their talents and learning. We equip children with the skills they need to be successful not just in school but in life.
We use elements of the Montessori Method along with tactics used in other educational systems to help children become independent, self-inspired learners. Our unique program is extremely effective, and children leave our program confident and successful. For more information, call MSOD Shipra to schedule a tour.