There are lots of ways you can encourage your child to become more independent. It’s useful to help build this skill as it can prepare them for school and even make them more helpful around the home. Here are a few tips on how to start encouraging your three to four year old to embrace their independence.
- When playing with playsets such as the Bananas in Pyjamas playhouse, encourage your child to set out the furniture how they want. If they do things differently to how you would avoid the urge to make alterations. It can damage self-confidence and self-esteem.
- When playing comes to an end encourage your child to tidy away the toys. You can make it part of the game, seeing if they are able to clear everything up by the time you bring in the snack and drink or by the time you have gathered their coats and shoes. When they have tidied away everything congratulate them and resist the urge to change the way they have stored the toys.
- Give your preschool child a job to do around the house. You can make this fun rather than boring, so consider giving your child the responsibility of watering a plant, arranging the cushions on the chairs in the living room or get the clothes out of the tumble dryer. Choose something you know they can manage. This job will help your child to believe they are capable of helping the family – again building confidence and self-esteem.
- When you see your child mastering a new task or game stop taking over and let them do it on their own. It might save time if you step in but it might hurt their pride or make them feel like there is no point attempting it as you will be there to take step in and help.
Helping children become more independent is an excellent way of seeing exactly what your own child is capable of. At school they will be expected to do many things such as hang up their jackets, throw away their waste and help keep the classroom clean. Have fun at playtime encouraging your child to do more in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
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