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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 herself.

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

 

Let her imitate you as you work.

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

 

Maintain your patience with your child as she masters new skills.

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

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


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