Building Independence - post

Building Independence

image in article Building IndependenceGiving children opportunities to build independence lets them know that we value them so that they grow up with a strong sense of self-esteem. Not only does this help children grow and develop, but it also fosters them to be confident and competent communicators, curious and resilient explorers, and creative thinkers.

Independence contributes to the development of self-esteem, identity, and well-being. When children are able to do something for themselves, it produces a powerful sense of achievement and success. When children have opportunities to make choices, attempt tasks for themselves, and take on increasing responsibilities, their sense of themselves as competent members of society grows.

Even infants begin searching for some independence after a few months. Young babies are figuring out how to move independently leading to crawling and then walking. Babies also begin looking for opportunities to self-feed.

Toddlers show growing independence that often comes across through power struggles and acts of defiance. Toddlers have a strong desire to be their own person and often use words such as "NO!" and "I can do it!".

Preschool-aged children are ready and willing to take on some responsibility. You'll know the time is right when you see them start pretending to do grown-up things, like playing "Family". Children this age also love to have a "job" or be a helper.

Support children’s independence with the following ideas:

  • Allow children to make simple choices from a range of options you are prepared to accept. 
  • Let children participate in classroom jobs.
  • Let children know you are interested in their thoughts and ideas. Ask their opinions.
  • Respect children's decisions wherever possible.
  • Help children to understand the impact of their choices.

For more ways to support children’s growth and development visit H&H Child Care Training Center (ChildCareEd) and view our wide selection of training. H&H (ChildCareEd) content writers are dedicated to helping educators improve their practice to support children of all ages. We are always adding new training courses so check back often.

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