Teach Kids to Do Things Themselves
Content Written/Updated on
April 05, 2007
Please ensure that your child is mentally and physically ready to do anything that might be dangerous.
Children Need to Grow Independent
One of the best things you can do to empower your children is to teach them how to do things by themselves. First of all, they're going to need to learn to do things for themselves anyhow. More importantly, though, helping children learn valuable life skills at a young age means that they'll be better able to deal with more challenging situations as they get older. They'll be less likely to get frustrated in the future as they learn that they must practice new skills to master them. Also, all of us, including kids, get a giant boost of self-esteem and confidence when we realize that we aren't victims waiting to be saved; we can help ourselves. This is especially important in emergencies. Plus, an added perk to parents is that as our children learn to do things for themselves instead of expecting us to do them, we will have more time to tend to other things.
At first, parents cringe at the thought of letting our children do things, like pour their own juice, because we predict that it will result in a giant mess. True, messes will happen, but the more you let your children practice and give them gentle guidance, the messes will only happen on rare occasions.
Approach the Situation like a Teacher
The most important thing you can do to help children learn skills easily is to offer them guidance with patience. Speak softly, laugh frequently, and make the experience fun. No criticism, anger, or shame allowed!
Give step-by-step instructions. We often take for granted many skills that took us years to master. Take the term step-by-step literally. Step one, open the drawer. Step two, take out your toothbrush and toothpaste. Step three, open the toothpaste. And so forth.