Every parent will at some point come to realise that their child (ren) is more than capable of doing everything themselves. This usually occurs around the time your child becomes a toddler. The whole ‘ I want to do it myself’ phase can be messy, time consuming, tricky, painful and accident-prone, because as parents we may want to take the easy way out and just do things by ourselves to save ourselves the trouble, but self-help skills is one of the essential skills for life-long learning.
Self-help skills are the backbone to raising your children to become successful and independent adults. While practicing small tasks like washing their own hands, feeding themselves or even tying their shoelaces, they gain confidence in their ability to try new things and build their self-esteem and pride in their independence as well as developing fine motor and gross motor skills.
Children have a drive to be independent and do things on their own. This is a healthy part of normal child development. As children grow, they learn to do more and more tasks. Parents and child care providers can help young children become independent by allowing and encouraging them to take responsibility for themselves whenever possible. Every child is different, so it is also important to take into consideration individualization.
Below are 5 reasons why self-help skills are essential:
- Children Learn by doing.
Research has shown us time and time again that children learn best through doing. For children to learn how to do a task for themselves, we must allow them time to practice it and let them make and learn from their mistakes.
- Children need and thrive on small successes
If you are constantly doing everything for your child, you aren’t giving them the opportunity to succeed on their own. When they accomplish these little tasks, make sure to get excited about what they did.
- Self-help skills are problem-solving skills
Teaching children to do things themselves at a young age enables them to use problem solving and critical thinking skills. These skills will be vital to life and will help them have greater executive functioning skills which will assist them in school as well.
- Independence builds self-confidence!
Self-confidence doesn’t happen overnight. You will notice as children get older their lack of confidence can hinder them in many ways. It is our job to build them up and give them the skills they need to prepare them. Once a child becomes independent they will be more confident and ready to tackle the next task.
- Independence teaches them responsibility and breeds good habits.
We all want our children to be responsible and have good practices. Unfortunately, in our fast and overscheduled lives, we don’t take the time to teach our kids how to become responsible. This is why it is so important to learn these skills when they are small. They will thank you, and you will thank yourself. TO BE CONTINUED.