What can be better for a parent than an independent child? We can often hear: "I would like my children to be more independent: to dress, to eat etc. by themselves." But in practice, everything is not so simple. Moms and dads are faced with the fact that independence entails independence and freedom of decision-making, and not always the views of children and adults are the same.
The problem is that the traditional system of upbringing treats the child not as an independent member of the family or society, but on the contrary, as a dependent, unreasonable human being, from whom only in future an intelligent person will be. As the result, there is no question of giving him the right to decide, choose or express his desire to do anything. There is some controversy when parents want the child to grow up and be responsible for some things, but at the same time they are not ready to give their child the right to be independent.This contradiction does not lead to anything other than the development in the child insecurity in his abilities.
Parents have to prepare children to independent live, giving them an opportunity to get their personal experience and make their own mistakes. When a child is included in daily activities, he begins to realise his role in the family, feels that he is trusted. When a child is given a choice, he learns to think independently and make decisions.
Independence in putting on and choosing clothes:
organise a child-friendly place with low shelves or cabinets in order your child can get his clothes. As the result a child will be interested and will have a desire to dress by himself;
pick up clothes and shoes which are easy to put on and take off;
clothes in the child's wardrobe should match the season. So, if you give the kid the opportunity to choose clothes by himself, he will not choose a T-shirt in winter, and a warm sweater in summer;
organise in the bathroom a basket for dirty laundry, explain and show the baby where to throw things for washing;
hang a safe mirror to the child, large enough so that he can see himself in full growth. Near the mirror, it can be a shelf, where the comb will be, if you have a girl, then also various accessories.
Independence in hygiene:
in the bathroom you will need a small chair or stand so that the child can reach the tap. Next to the tap should be a baby soap, toothpaste and a brush in a separate cup;
A pot should also be comfortable and always accessible.
Independence in food:
organize in the kitchen a small shelf or a cabinet where the dishes for the child will be stored, also put a jug with water next to them, as well as napkins and bibs;
do not use plastic dishes, use glass and ceramics. So the child will quickly learn that plates and glsses are fragile and should be treated with caution;
prepare food for the child, which he can eat without any special difficulties — instead of spaghetti pasta, instead of mashed potatoes pieces of vegetables and potatoes;
children like to participate in cooking. Ask them to help you - peel bananas, cut bread or vegetables with a safe knife and so on.
Independence during sleep:
a low open bed will help your baby to form the right attitude to sleep - in fact a baby cot is not a cage where the parents put their child, deciding that it's time for him to sleep. An open bed can help your child to lay down when he wants;
think about a daily evening ritual that will tell the child that it's time for sleep - evening tea, reading books under lamp lights etc. In this case, you do not have to remind the child once again that it's time to go to bed.
Independence in games and classes:
organise for the child low shelves or boxes for storing toys. Try to work out a simple scheme for placing toys in the right place, put aside those items that the child has not played for a long time, so it will be easier for your kid to clean up;
choose proper furniture for children:low table, chair etc;
books and materials for creativity should be available without any difficulties, then the kid can do his favorite things at any time;
let them always have a brush and a scoop in the access so that the children can clean the garbage from the table or floor by themselves.
So, here are basic principles of organizing a home environment in order to help a child to become more independent. But the most important thing of course is to accept the fact that a child is a separate person who has the right to be respected and has the desire to be independent.
Autor: Ludmiła - Absolwentka Narodowego Uniwersytetu Pedagogicznego w Kijowie na kierunku: Anglistyka/ Lektor języka angielskiego. Od ponad 8 lat pracuje z dziećmi jako nauczyciel jęz. angielskiego.