If you’re the parent of a preschooler, chances are you hear these phrases quite often…
“Mommy, can you get my toy?”
“I need a Snack, get it!”
“Momma, Tie my shoes please.”
While we love to be there for our little ones, teaching them how to be independent in some areas at a young age is actually very healthy for them. Renowned educator and physician Maria Montessori, who is famous for the Montessori method of education, once said, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”
Letting your child try and do some things for themselves has a number of benefits. This is one of the most powerful lessons we as parents can teach our children. Preschoolers are like sponges, they soak up everything around them. By teaching them some independence, they begin to develop a sense of self confidence.
“As such, fostering independence in preschool, through activities, language, mindset and environment, is only us responding to the child’s natural yearning and sensitivity to be independent,” she adds, “to create the man that he will become, in a setting that allows for the child’s safety, happiness, confidence, and success.” – Mars Medina
When teaching independence to your preschooler, start small. Find simple task that they can succeed at. Have them brush their own teeth or put their dish in the sink on their own. As they succeed give them more responsibility. Don’t forget to make it fun! Kids learn best by doing, and the more they enjoy it, the more they will embrace it.
“It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”