Children who have been given the opportunity to face manageable challenges are able to persevere when learning new things.

They don’t get discouraged and give up easily; they keep on keeping on until they get it.

It stands to reason then, that autonomous children find more enjoyment and pleasure in school and demonstrate a higher level of creativity and flexibility in thinking.

On the other hand, many children face challenges every day for which they do not have the capacity to manage.

So how can a parent support a child’s autonomy?

  • Child proof your home and design it so children have the freedom to explore most of it without fear of harm challenges textor breaking things. Put child-safe items in lower cabinets and drawers.
  • Move closet rods down to the child’s level so they can hang up their own clothes.
  • Provide low shelves and drawers so children can easily put things away.
  • Teach your preschooler self-help skills: how to zip, button, fasten his coat and clothing, tie his shoes, put on hats, gloves and mittens.
  • Teach your child how to put on a coat by himself.
  • Give children age-appropriate choices. For example, it would not be appropriate to ask a young child if he wants to go to bed but it would be appropriate to ask him if he wants to wear red jammies or blue jammies.

Have you been exploring ways to nurture healthy independence? Please share, and ask questions below!

(Read my previous post on Manageable Challenge)