Encouraging Independence and Building Confidence in the Early Years

Happy Wednesday everyone! We cannot believe that it is March already, 2018 seems to be flying by! Today we wanted to talk a bit about encouraging independence is the early years in order to help your child to begin building the necessary confidence to take them forward throughout their lives.

In the family setting a number of small things can go a long way towards encouraging independence. Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Getting Dressed: children aged 2.5-3 are capable of dressing themselves, so this skill should be encouraged
    • Have their clothing where it is accessible for their reach.
    • Have a smaller amount of clothes available to them when they are dressing themselves so that they don’t get overwhelmed with the decision making and focus on the dressing themselves part
  2. Cleaning: children are messy, and it is okay to teach them to clean up after themselves!
    • Have a few child friendly cleaning items like designated rags and a brush and dustpan.
    • Encourage children clean up after themselves when they make a mess using their own cleaning tools
  3. Food: preschool aged children are not only capable of feeding themselves but can also make themselves a snack every once in awhile
    • This doesn’t mean that you have to expect them to cook dinners or use appliances on their own, as that can be very dangerous.
    • But teach children simple task like making a sandwich
    • Have cutlery and plates at their level so that they can use them independently.
    • It might take a few tries with parent assistance to get the peanut butter to jam ratio just right but after a while this might be something you can allow them to do on their own
  4. Self Care: the little everyday things are important too
    • Teach your child how to tie their shoelaces, do their buttons, wash their hands, etc. on their own.
    • Sometimes this can be tedious as their fine motor skills are not fully developed yet and they are slow with these motions, but practice makes perfect.
    • Have patience, let them work it out on their own, if they make a mistake you can let them know but have them correct it themselves.

Basically, the little things can go a long way to helping your child develop the necessary skills and confidence to be independent!

Source: https://childhood101.com/encouraging-independence-in-children/