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Help Me Do It Myself

Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed. ~ Maria Montessori | Montessori | education | independent kids | montessori quote |

Help Me Do It Myself

Toddlers, they are amazing right? Little people with huge personalities who like to push the boundaries like Miley leaving Disney. But all too often we pamper these little people, doing far too much for them which hinders their growth and stops them from learning about the world and often results in meltdowns and tantrums (and I’m not just talking about the kids here!)
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Have you ever watched your child struggling to do something, put a ball in a hole, fasten a button, those small things we take for granted. They go at it and refuse to quit, if you offer to help they give you the death stare – and with good reason, they are learning, we are programmed to keep trying until we ‘get it’. But if others take over or interfere our programming gets over ridden and it becomes ‘easier’ to let someone else do it.
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As life has gotten busier we don’t take the time to slow down and let our kids do what they need to do. “Look we have to be out of the house and in the car in 5 minutes”, who has time to wait 15 minutes for little Luke to put his shoes on by himself?
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Not a busy mama who is on a mission to do the school drop off on time! So what is a busy mama like you to do?
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Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed. ~ Maria Montessori | Montessori | education | independent kids | montessori quote |

3 Ways To Help Your Child Do It By Themselves

1
Create More Time!
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Kids need time to practice everyday skills, like putting on their shoes or buttoning up a shirt.
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The ONLY way they are going to get better and quicker at it, is by practicing.
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The first thing to do is to look at your routine, what tweaks can you make which would allow your child some extra time to do the task at hand.
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Aim to leave the house 10 minutes earlier, so that you’re not in a crazy rush and think about what you could prepare the night before which would give you a bit more wriggle time in the morning.
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This might seem like too much effort but look at it as an investment – before long, with practice your child can get dressed, pack their bag, put their own shoes on, and use The Ninja Coat Trick and whilst they are doing all that independently, you can actually finish that morning cup of coffee!
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2
Start Them Young!
Once your little one has started toddling they are old enough to give jobs to do.
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Obviously you’re not going to send them up the chimney to clean or have them scrubbing the toilet but at 18 months they can help put the laundry away, set the table, put their toys away, wipe up spills…
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All these jobs will become second nature very quickly and as your child gets older and does a better job (because let’s face it, an 18 month old’s idea of cleaning is hardly going to be the same standard as your own) but as they do get older, they will get better at it and it will cut down on the amount of work YOU have to do!
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For this to work, you need to have the home set up so it is EASY for the child to do the jobs.
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Can they reach the closet?
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Can they get the child sized brush and pan by themselves?
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Are their toys labelled logically so it is easy for them to clean up?
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As you walk around your home start asking yourself these questions and how you can tweak things here and there to make it work better for your child.
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3
Don’t Interrupt!
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When you see that your child is deeply engrossed in something, resist the urge to speak to them, help them or basically butt in. There is no need for words of encouragement or tidbits of advice, just let them be.
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If you do, you are breaking their concentration which is breaking their brainwaves working hard on figuring it out.
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Think about how you feel when someone interrupts you when you are so close to figuring out the answer, annoying isn’t it?
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It takes a bit of practice to get this down, it seems to be our natural instinct to go and talk or praise a child who is concentrating, so this one is probably the toughest but you will be rewarded.
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Many modern day things are touted as the downfall to children’s concentration skills, the least we can do is step back and watch and let them figure it out.
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Now over to you, share in the comments what you can start doing today to help your child do things by his or herself…

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Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed. ~ Maria Montessori | Montessori | education | independent kids | montessori quote |“>
Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed. ~ Maria Montessori | Montessori | education | independent kids | montessori quote |“>

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