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ОБЪЯВЛЕНИЕ » Your child can do this − stimulate to independent activity
Children, just like adults, want the right to make their own decisions and operations. They want to experience, live and feel. Often, however, the caregivers forget about it and through their care and love, they do everything for their child, and thus take away the opportunity to explore the world fully. Contrary to appearances, such overprotection does not help, but on the contrary, it makes the life of a child much more difficult. How to develop a child’s independence, despite concerns about their safety?
Child independence can be divided into three types. The first is practical, which manifests itself in coping with certain activities, e.g. eating or cleaning. Another, or social one, is the one that allows you to make friends, approach cooperation and maintain contacts. The last type is mental independence that consists in making your own decisions. Each of these areas is important and each should be developed from an early age, as it provides the child with resourcefulness and faster learning of new skills.
What can the parent do to develop their child’s independence?
How to develop a child’s practical independence? For the youngest children, these are certainly activities such as eating, cleaning training, dressing up, putting on shoes, etc. Older children should be encouraged to help with cleaning, do small shopping for grandparents or take the pet out.
When it comes to social independence, it is a bad idea to choose your child’s friends without consulting them. Of course, if you see that an acquaintance has a bad influence on your child, it is worth explaining what you think is not right and then trying to limit contacts if necessary. However, if your child tells you that there are people they don’t want to play with, even if they are your friends’ children, it’s worth listening to them and letting them choose whether to spend time with them or not.
On the other hand, when it comes to independence in making decisions, it is good to start with mundane things, e.g. what to eat or what to wear, and then move on to more serious aspects, such as the time of performing the child’s duties or the type of gift chosen for a friend’s birthday. Older children should also be taught how to manage money by allocating an appropriate amount of pocket money for a given period. It is a procedure that teaches economy, shows how to manage finances and makes a child realise what the art of choice is. Each of these small gestures gives the child a sense of agency and allows them to develop. It is very important that the parent is not the only person making the decision, and that certain matters are placed in the hands of the child. It can be very difficult for caregivers at times, but it is worth going through it to give your toddler a strong foundation for the future.
Gadgets supporting independence in children
What gadgets can help build your child’s independence? Certainly suitable eating utensils, as well as water bottles. Especially the latter suggestion is very helpful because it allows the child to drink when they need it, and at the same time protects against spilling. A similar support, although not as practical as water bottles, are educational toys, which very often help to develop logical thinking, concentration and focus, and also require taking certain actions, decisions and using experiences. These can be various types of proposals − from classic ones, such as puzzles or wooden towers, to much more advanced educational toys, such as sensory books.
However, remember never to leave your child alone with their problems or doubts. You must be sure that the child is convinced that they can come to you with any issue and will get help from you. This will give the child a sense of security and encourage them to try new things, take up challenges and attempts that will not necessarily be successful, but will allow them to acquire the necessary experience.