Gaining independence


“I can do it all by myself”, yelled my little one two days after turning 5 when I tried to help with something. I stood back, somewhat amazed at the speed with which the said task was accomplished and some sadness. My baby was growing up, and loving growing up, and wanting to be a lot more independent.

A lot of the time I realised that I would just do things in the the interest of time, speed, reducing frustration both for the little one and myself and for a million other reasons. It was just easier. But not necessarily productive or good for the child and clearly, my help was not always wanted or welcome. Sad, but gratifying in a way.

The first signs of independence generally emerge at meal times and with dressing themselves. The rest follow but may take longer.

While all children eventually get round to accomplishing all these little tasks by themselves as time goes on,  some may take a little longer than others and need a little bit more help than their peers.

The desire for independence however comes to every child at some stage. It is up to you how you make use of that to help your child to accomplish tasks for themselves, to be proud of the fact that they have tried regardless of whether they succeed or not and most importantly to keep trying.


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