Thursday, April 4, 2013

Children's Self-Help Skills

As a child grows they want to do things by themselves,  such as eating, toileting, dressing and undressing.  A child is so eager to learn and do what their parents do and aim to please.  They might say things like "Mommy I got dressed all by myself!"  Becoming a little bit independent builds a child's confidence and gives them a sense of pride.

My five year old can do a lot of things independently.  She has the ability to pick her own clothes and she knows how to dress and undress herself.  She can use a fork and spoon to feed herself and can brush her teeth with a little supervision.   She can put on her shoes without any help but has not mastered shoes laces yet.  She can use the washroom and wash her hands independently.  My second daughter is almost four years old and displays similar self-help skills.  Sometimes when I try to help her she tells me she can do it by herself, but she needs a little help with zippers. 

It's bittersweet when your child becomes more independent.  On one hand you're excited that they can do more things for themselves, but on the other hand you feel your child is growing up too fast and you don't want to let go of that closeness.  

As a parent it's important for you to be patient with your child as they grow and become more independent.  Take their age into consideration and keep your expectations realistic so you don't set them up for failure.

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