Not recently that I noticed my son stepping up for each and every thing mentioning that ‘i want to’ . Though he hasn’t started speaking fluently, the gibberish babble of saying and showing that he wants to do it by himself gave me a lot of thoughts.
Wanting to do everything what the adults do , including disciplining the sibling the way we do made me look at him in awe. Kids these days keep looking at you every second I say.
The desire to be independent is something that I found so adorable and at the same time exhausting as I was losing my cool very often. Though I do understand that it is our duty to raise self sufficient adults like we are.
At the same time it feels kind of scary when they take risks which I feel they are not ready yet. The mother instinct in me, one time wanted to let him try and on the other end getting tensed that don’t let him.
As a result, it did make the day longer and I knew that folding a cloth would now take ten minutes or even putting away the plate after eating.
The child’s independence is letting go of the stage in childhood. That is where realisation kicks in hard saying that they’re growing up and then there is. No going back.
So how do you encourage your toddler to be independent
Not holding them back
You always begin where you tend to hold them back, embrace their decision to do things on their own. Guide and coach then but do not hold them back and tell them there is a time to learn doing this.
This could start with them wearing shoes. Though it takes forever, I don’t think you should hurry up here. Your hands might itch to get there and get it done, but stay back and let them do it.
Show them, do together, monitor and leave them alone
Them wanting to do a task above comfort level can be scary. But what do you do when they insist on doing it.
Think whether it is age appropriate. Start by showing how it is done, proceed to doing it with them together, go ahead with monitoring when they do and help them if they get stuck and lastly let them try it alone.
You can start this by making them prepare their snack , making their bed or folding clothes.
Though the process is time consuming the end result it gives is your child being independent. It all starts with the kid watching when you do it and ends with them doing it on their own without needing your help.
Letting them do things their way
Micro management is something that nobody likes not even your toddler . You should not only embrace their decision to do things on their own but also do it in their own way.
All of us are different people in having our thinking process and our own preferences. Give them the freedom to do things their way rather than having them copy our style.
Do not help them in their struggle
Any mom doesn’t like their kid struggling. Nobody likes to see the disappointed look on their face it the anger that’s going to be building up after the failure.
When you attempt to help them it is going to be harmful for them in future. They come to a conclusion that we think they aren’t cut out for the tasks. They have the easy way to sense our doubts instead of our support in them.
In fact they wil learn much more when they fail than they learn when we step in and help them out. They also get the message that it’s okay to give up when something gets hard.
Nurture their independence letting them struggle. They will see the obstacles as challenges and find ways to come out of it.
Accomodating their independence
Having my daughter express her wish to help me in kitchen wasn’t the most efficient use of time. I realised that rather than being grateful that I’m having help ,I was more tensed if I will be able to finish cooking within the time.
But instead of saying no, I made a change. Rather than hurrying up the process , I made sure I had enough time before dinner preparation so that she could chip in and help me out.
In this way it can make them work on their own pace and keep us free from feeling the rush. You can also try this if they want to dress up themselves or pack their own lunch boxes.
We can avoid power struggles by not butt heading with them, during our routines and instead take into account their need for extra time they need to practice to do things on their own and in their own way.