Helping your child build independence-2

 ‘Self help is the best help’.

Early years independence is a crucial part of our adult life. Do we really care to make our children independent? It is often seen that adults conveniently want their children to be independent. They do not have enough time and patience to give their children. So they do things for their children and this often ends up into dependency at the kids end. Children tend to get lazy, lack motivation, inability to do things on their own, lack confidence, develop fear of failure, develop anxiety, throw temper tantrums, become demanding or even socially non adjustable.

Being successful in fulfilling one’s needs makes an individual confident and aspiring. They look forward to adventures positively without fear. They are the best risk-takers.

Dependency these days comes out of the insecurity parents have about losing the child’s love and affection. Secondly, some of the parents also think that since they had to share parents time with other siblings, they did not get as pampering as they should have got if they were their parents only child. Hence they want to do everything for their kids. They forget the most important thing that since they got a chance to do things on there own they are at a benefit at this moment. Whereas if their child gets used to their help, he will always be dependent on them and will not develop his self-confidence or may develop laziness or can even become demanding.

Getting into the habit of helping themselves or doing things independently helps children to move ahead faster in all they do. Earlier the better.

Kids Who Do Chores Grow Up To Be More Successful & Happier Adults

Few examples of what are the tasks that we can assign to children for the development of independence in the early years.

2.5-3 years

  1. Starting to feed themselves independently with a spoon or hands,
  2. Holding their milk cups
  3. Keeping away (handing to adults) their cup, plate
  4. Zip and unzip their coats
  5. Wearing underpants, shirt or frock
  6. Getting their shoes to an adult to put them on and put them back in place once removed.

3-4 years

  1. Feeding themselves with spoon or hand
  2. Helping setting the table for dinner
  3. Helping in cleaning up after dinner
  4. Wearing their own clothes including buttoning, zipping
  5. Packing and unpacking their school bags
  6. Making a small snack eg- assembling a sandwich
  7. Keeping the school bag, shoes and socks in the appropriate places
  8. Watering plants, cleaning weeds
  9. Unpacking grocery
  10. Cleaning veggies eg- peeling peas, cleaning coriander
  11. Brushing teeth and bathing

4-5 years

  1. Feeding themselves independently
  2. Helping in the kitchen with cleaning veggies, making a salad, setting the dinner table, cleaning after dinner etc
  3. Sleep independently
  4. Using toilet independently
  5. Tiding up their room and arranging toys
  6. Manage a sleepover at a friend’s house/grandparents house
  7. Attending overnight camps
  8. Staying alone at home for a period of time
  9. Interacting with strangers
  10. Taking care of pets
  11. Keeping the trash cans for collection
  12. Putting their beds
  13. Washing the car
  14. Scrubbing doors and windows

Regular involvement of children in chores will help develop INDEPENDENCE along with-

  1. Develop sense of self dignity
  2. Develop sense of belongingness
  3. Develop sense of responsibility
  4. Develop confidence
  5. Develop awareness of work ethic
  6. Develop ability to work together

For a bright and healthy future for a healthy Nation

Let us make it a fun way by making a chart where they earn points which fetch them a prize such as a book, a field trip or a special healthy treat, visit to a friend, etc.

Let your imagination roll and enlist a few tasks that you would like to start with to initiate independence in your child. Do share what you are doing already or have started after reading this blog.

To be Continued…………