Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Your pre-schooler - 4 tips for promoting independence

It’s obvious that your pre-schooler still needs lots of help from you but they’re far more capable than we often give them credit for.  You may find it challenging to get your child to help with clearing up their toys, undertaking basic chores or helping out when asked. However, at nursery or pre-school it can be a totally different child on show, often helping out and joining in when asked. 

Here's how you can encourage them to continue that behaviour at home:

1. Expect more from your child. Often, it’s easier to do something yourself than have a battle with your child over their ability to be able to do something when asked.  It is important that you keep expecting your child to do things that are age appropriate that they are capable of doing.  Without a doubt, if you raise the bar and encourage your child with reward and praise, he’ll stretch out to meet it.

2. Don't do it over again. If your child wipes down her dinner table after her meal, let her and if she leaves some mess behind, ignore it.  By ‘fixing’ your child’s achievements, you’ll undermine the effectiveness and the power of their achievement.  Encourage don’t perfect just yet.

3. They can do it. If you see your child climbing up on something or trying harder than usual to get to or do something on their own, don’t rush in immediately (unless there is clear danger) and try to help.  Stand back and let them do it, even encourage them.  Perhaps it’s not the ideal thing for them to be doing but what they’re learning is a skill, you can address their ability to get into the sweetie cupboard later on! 

4. Give them responsibilities around the home.  Putting your pre-schooler in charge of a regular chore around the house will help to build their sense of place and responsibility. The more responsibility you give your child, backed up with positive reinforcement, the more likely your child will be to want to do more and achieve bigger successes as time goes by.

Happy parenting!