Understanding Your Toddler's Independence
There are many phases of your baby's development in his growing years. One of the most important phases is when he learns to sit, walk and starts being less dependent on you for little things. It can be quite overwhelming for you to witness the change in your baby and your reaction to everything matters the most. Your baby used to depend on your entirely until some months back, but now there are certain things he can do on his own.
One of the smartest things you can do to support independence in your baby is by understanding that they can now do many basic tasks for themselves. From brushing their teeth and hair, and getting themselves set for the bed, to putting their toys away and accumulating their dirty clothes up off the floor, there are a lot of chores your baby can do to help out around the house.
Here are some things you can do to encourage independence in your growing child:
Never assist where it is not necessary:
Never do for a child what he can do for himself.Allow your child to do the minimal tasks he can manage on his own like tying his shoelaces, brushing his teeth, dress himself up, etc. It not only encourages independence but also sets a discipline tone in your child's life.
Appreciate the hard work:
You should always appreciate your child's efforts to do something, even if it is not perfect. This helps to make him try harder the next time he does the same job, which will finally result in error-free work. Be sure to cheer your baby on every step of the process, and be there to pick them up and support them if they fall.
Do not direct until a need arises:
Instead of telling what to do to your child, ask him what he is up to, and this will encourage his language-based skill of self-direction. You can offer suggestions and help, but only when needed and asked for.
Give Them Choices
An important part of being independent means making your own decisions. Providing choices to your little one can make them feel like that they are in charge, even when they end up not choosing what you want them to choose in the first place. Narrow down your choices before you communicate them so that you don't end up cornered and both the choices are something that you agree on.
Find Positive in the Negative
Raising independent individuals might mean seeing them face a lot of disappointments and roadblocks. Instead of confusing mistakes as a failure, encourage your child to look at them as opportunities to learn new things. Let them know that success is not always guaranteed and sometimes one has to face hard situation to learn something in life. Encourage them to keep an open mind.
Nothing will be accomplished if you rush. It takes time to build good habits and thus, take out precious time to make your child understand how to do a job correctly. You should always remember that time and patience are the keys to develop good habits in a child.
It is necessary to be a cheerleader for your child, but just as important to hold back and let them explore the outside environment. Every new hindrance they tackle and every small victory will build their confidence and encourage them to be independent. You can nourish that independent sparkle even more by encouraging your child to do things that they may find intimidating. If your child has been reluctant to climb the slide on the garden playset, you can stand behind them for support and let them explore and face their phobias. This safe and smart risk-taking is one of the best means to grow confidence in your kid and make them more independent by the moment they are ready for nursery class or kindergarten.