I was chatting with my friend and her two children, studying in 1st and 3rd standard, were engrossed in their own world. I was observing their activities since half an hour. Though it was Sunday the next day, the kids were busy doing home-work, arranging books and notes and preparing their school bags. Just by glancing at them, my friend could manage both her kids silently. I was mesmerized and wondered how many moms can handle kids in such a balanced manner!
Frankly speaking, kids are full of energy and are willing to do their tasks. But we, out of our protective attitudes, help them in their tasks for fear of their failure. When we do not let them do anything on their own, how will they become self-reliant? Everyone loves being self-reliant, especially kids as they want to be recognized as individuals and get appreciation.
Self reliance is not a one day practice, it is a step by step process through which kids can become self-reliant. A gift from parents to their children to be nurtured. As parents, we tend to over-protect our kids at every step, which many a times proves to be a blockage in their way to become self-reliant.
1. Start with Small Tasks:
Ask them to arrange books and notes, prepare their bag according to time table, fold dresses and arrange in shelves, eat without scattering and spilling around, wash hands before coming to the dining table, clean the room, help the pets eat on time, water the plants, keep the newspaper arranged at a place, keep shoes and socks properly, etc. Write a note and read their tasks done aloud.
2. Accept the Imperfection in Work:
When kids go to kindergarten school, as a teacher, I observed their inability to hold a pencil properly, for writing is a new activity for them. But as Parents, we tend to help in making the kid's job easy. By doing so, aren't we training them to become dependent early? Any work done by a kid would be imperfect but gradually the rectifications come and finally they feel proud to show their ability in doing the tasks successfully on their own, isn't that a great feeling for us too?
3. Use Failure as a Learning:
Failure is the best thing when it comes to learning perfectly, without making mistakes it's almost impossible to gain knowledge as well strong confident ideas. Let them fail, be a guide as kids are expecting positive responses from you.
4. Appreciate their Effort:
When a child starts to walk as a toddler, note how many times he/she falls down. Yet they are ever ready to try again and that's due to the muscular growth. In the same way, kids try to do tasks when they get the inner stimulation to perform on their own. Little efforts are a source of immense pleasure and confidence for them. Our guidance is a must and much expected thing without overpowering their efforts. Compliments play a very vital role in shaping up their confidence levels. So be generous in complimenting them on small achievements.
5. Encourage Decision Making:
When planning a family outing, kids get ready with enthusiasm but the dresses mostly are chosen by parents. Most of the times, kids do not like the dresses that their parents have chosen and are reluctant to wear them. This results in them being unhappy and also their confidence level taking a tumble. Allow them to choose the dresses so that they enjoy dressing up on their own. Encourage the kids to take decisions on their own. Sometimes just give imaginary situations and check how they respond to when given a task and how determined they seem to take decisions. This will help you to check their confidence level. In emergency situations or maybe a critical one, kids won't panic but think wisely to come out of the risk.
Let us be a guide for our kids and help them to walk their own journey.
It's your road and yours alone.
Others may walk it with you,
But no one can walk it for you
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