Monday, September 17, 2012

20 Toddler tips in 20 days 16. To Save or Not to Save

Toddler Survival Tip #16

16. Save or not to save

Are we really saving our children from distress when we rescue them all the time?

I watched my frustrated little 14 month old this morning try and try to erect his walking toy that fell over. He kept climbing into it and unable to lift it. I watched and sat right near him, keeping my hands off lifting it. I wanted to so bad, but I wanted to see if he could achieve it on his own.

He wasn't in danger.

He wasn't full out crying, just whiny and complaining and pretty mad.

I waited. I offered him to ask mom for help, using his sign HELP. He chose not to use it, so I waited. 

Eventually he found if he stepped out of it and came at it from a different angle he could do it. I clapped and said what a great job he did, he had this proud look on his face. He was learning to be independent. He was learning new skills. He was proud of himself and he gained confident. I enjoyed watching him build this self esteem and positive emotional development. 

If they children are safe, let them try on their own.
We want to encourage our children to be self reliant, self confident and self assured. We need to find opportunities to do this. I found one this mornings.

Other things you can do to help encourage autonomy. (Independent skills)

1. Let them help put dishes in sink.
2. Help dig in the garden
3. Let them try to retrieve a stuck toy
4. Let them put puzzle pieces in, resist helping hold the piece, you can adjust the base board or offer suggestions.

Suggestions to offer when you see frustrations:

"Did you want HELP (Sign HELP), sign help baby."
"Hold the piece a different way."
"Try taking your hand out."
"Try the puppy puzzle piece."
"Use your other hand."
"Go behind, up, around, in, out."
(these are great vocabulary builders as well.

Happy Parenting!


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