Helping your child build independence- Part 1

‘We are dealing with a Spoon fed generation’

Currently, in a TV program the anchor shared a letter that was written by a boy to his mom, who had gone abroad for higher studies. He had expressed his anger, dislike and……… about his upbringing. You guessed it right. The boy was upset because the boy was not able to cook for himself. Buying food there was super expensive and at times unreachable. As we all are aware most of the boys in Indian homes are brought up with the concept of being the bread earner and cooking is not their job. But once these boys set their feet abroad they realize that they have to do all their jobs by themselves. Had these boys had a chance to do their own chores by themselves from childhood they would not have faced this challenge.

In another such incident, I was shocked when one of my colleagues mentioned to me that she was super stressed with the packing she was doing for her son. He was going to Australia to do his Masters. She herself was doing all the packing including his clothes packing and both of them were ok with this. The boy, who had crossed his 20’s, was still comfortable with his mom packing his bag.

Children going in kindergarten and grade 1 are often seen walking beside their parents empty handed while the parents carry the backpacks. At dispersal time the moment kids see parents either they hand over their backpacks to parents or parents take them immediately from the child and happily carry them. This certainly is the beginning where kids should be made aware of their responsibility to carry their own stuff.

Same is the case when the kids get back home. They tend to throw their stuff here and there and get to play or watch TV lying down on the couch. They pay no heed to the caretaker’s requests of putting stuff away in place. At times I have seen a group of moms proudly discussing how their children have developed these kinds of habits. These habits are not only harmful for the child’s future but also becomes a headache for the parents. Habits of independence in doing small chores have to be developed intentionally and at times by remaining firm and stern until the child does what is been told. Positive reinforcement plays a key role in this.  Positive disciplining is an absolutely essential thing for the future of our children and society at large.

This independence is quite often a normal routine training/ in the Western countries where the small babies are made to sleep in separate room than of the parents. The child starts feeding himself by holding his own bottle/cup. In India however a common scene is that even a Grade 1 student is being fed by his mother moving around the entire house. And stories of this are happily shared with friends and family.

The same story is found in schools. In pursuit of showing children’s neat work, most of the cutting, pasting, assembling is done by the teachers. The children do not have opportunity to handle material and explore them. As a result we see all the display on classroom boards very well manicured. The children lack the necessary coordination and skills that have to be developed at that age.

The concerning fact about all the above mentioned examples is, children who do not get an opportunity to do things independently tend to be dependent as adults as well. They lack self-confidence. They lag behind in various skills key to life. They might even develop fear and anxiety when it comes to do something independently.Children who get to work by themselves get a chance to improve and excel in what they do. Develop confidence which gives them chance to boost their self-esteem. They may even become good leaders.

To be Continued…………

Comments (1)

very correctly defined.

Comments are closed.