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Ways to Promote Independence in Children

Read and absorb this quote from Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori education movement: “The child's development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself.” Your child is naturally geared toward becoming independent. That is the natural track of her development. Here are some ideas to help your child become more independent.

 

First, give your child room to try new tasks on their own

Encourage your child to try to do it with a good effort before you assist him/her. Additionally, provide your child with assistance to do the task himself/herself. For example, put a stool in the bathroom so he/she can reach the sink to wash their hands on their own. You might also lay out their clothes so that they are easy to put on, such as laying out his/her trousers with the top up and front side facing them so they can easily sit down and put them on the right way, as suggested by some parenting articles.

 

Let your child imitate you as you work

If you’re dusting around the house, give him/her a small cloth and let him/her clean something that won’t harm them. Also, assign them responsibility to do daily chores. For instance, have him/her get dressed on their own in the morning. This may take some time, so you could plan for that in your schedule by perhaps getting him/her up a bit earlier.

 

Maintain your patience with your child as he/she masters new skills

It will take him/her longer to accomplish new tasks, so just be ready for that. Praise their efforts and their achievements to encourage them to keep trying new tasks on their own. Avoid giving in to help them with something that you have seen them do before or that you think they could get if they just kept trying a bit longer. Your child will be so proud of all that he/she can do when you praise them for mastering a new skill that he/she will want to try something else. While you want to do everything for him/her for the sake of time or because you want them to remain your baby, it is better if you move with his/her natural development and push him/her gently toward independence and self-confidence.

What are the other tips you may have? Share with us!


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