It always surprises me when my 3 year old leaves her stuff lying around at home. She usually weaves her own magical world of trip hazards in her wake and then, at play dates, picks up after herself and her friends. To me, this is a mystery more intriguing than the infamous “What is the meaning of life?” question! A psychologist friend of mine had a very interesting insight into these apparent differences of behavior. He said, children, being as naturally experimental as they are and knowing how much you love them, will push you to your limit to see how far you will go.
It made me really sit back and think about the positive and negative reinforcement I was subconsciously dealing out. The question about what sort of child you are raising is quite hard hitting. More often than not, I’m guilty of just going with the flow. This made me come up with a list of things I’m going to do to make DD a little more independent.
- I will stop doing things for her what she can do herself, more so when we are pressed for time. And especially when it is easier for me to do it for her
- I will raise the bar because I know from personal experience that when I’m expected to do something, I rise up to meet the challenge. My daughter will, as well.
- I will give her something to do – giving her a regular chore to do will, hopefully, not only increase her sense of confidence but also make her feel like she’s the boss. Children love that!
What would be on your list of commitments to build a more independent preschooler?