Monday, February 21, 2011

Teaching Children Independence

Every parent wants his or her child to become independent. When children get older and enter adulthood, independence is important so that parents can retire and children are no longer draining their financial resources see their children succeed the way they always knew they would. But when children are younger, independence seems to serve a more immediate need. Whether it’s cleaning up toys, putting away mealtime dishes, or even just moving shoes out of the doorway, once children master the fine art of doing things independently, life seems easier and less stressful for the whole family.

A recent report from the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University breaks downs simple steps for parents who are in the midst of trying to teach young children how to just ‘put away your shoes, already’ without becoming too frustrated.

 Here are some highlights from the report for parents of preschool-aged children:

  • Break down routines into steps and stay positive. While it’s a knee-jerk reaction to say ‘stop splashing the water!’ it’s much more positive and effective to say ‘all done washing/brushing teeth. Now let’s turn the water off.’
  • Think of it as a ‘how to’ (remember having to write these in school?). Use words like ‘First’ ‘Next’ ‘Then’ ‘Last’
  • Be encouraging. Don’t reprimand. This will discourage your child from wanting to perform tasks independently
  • If your child is reading, consider leaving funny notes- ‘I don’t like to get splashed!’ on the toilet seat, for example

How do you help your child learn independence through routines?


Post a Comment

Copyright 2009 Parenting | Singleparent Blog. Powered by Blogger
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Wordpress by Wpthemesfree