Thursday, 12 June 2014

Allowing your child to help


                     It is often us who hinder our child's Independence by not letting them help
My daughter, as many young children are, is extremely eager to help. She loves it when I ask her to help me with a job around the house, but sometimes when she asks me if she can do something to help me, I try to discourage her. This is usually when it is something involving something breakable, such as a mug or plate that she wants to carry through the house to help tidy up.

Of course, there are many things that you would not like to risk a child helping with, such as carrying boiling hot liquids or sharp objects like knives, but there are many things which we can allow our children to do if we feel they are ready to try.

Our daughter has an interest in helping in the kitchen to fill and empty the dishwasher. This obviously includes plates and glasses, which is why I have tried to curb her enthusiasm. However, the other day, I had to give her a normal plate instead of her own plastic one, which she carried into the kitchen to be cleaned without being asked to. " I carried it carefully, Mummy" she said proudly. This is when I realised that perhaps I am being too cautious sometimes when she wants to help. Yes, we could end up with a broken plate, but this is all part of the learning process!

It is a tricky one, but part of a child's Independence and building emotional development is to allow children to take risks and try things. The smile on their faces when they have helped someone and gets recognition for it is amazing!

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