The more self-sufficient your child is, the more her creativity, sense of initiative, confidence, self-esteem and ability to affirm herself will grow.
She tries to grab her rattle on her own, wants to dress herself, help set the table... As soon as she’s born and with your help, your little bundle of joy embarks on the long road to independence.
“I made the cookies,” says 5-year-old Loric, his eyes shining. He’s proud of himself. He cracked the eggs, poured the flour and milk and mixed it all together. He helped his mom spoon the dough onto the cookie sheet. “A piece of eggshell fell into the mix, but it’s okay, we took it out,” says mom, Cassandra. That same day, her 2-year-old daughter, Rose, wanted to prepare her own breakfast. “I held her hand while she buttered her toast,” says mom.
Cassandra, who also has an 8-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son, takes every opportunity to help her children become self-sufficient. “If I do it all for them, they’ll never learn!” She’s right. A child’s journey towards independence is closely related to her overall development. It’s the foundation for becoming an adult. “When your child learns to be self-reliant, she feels as though she has some power over herself, objects and other people,” explains Sylvie Provencher, coordinator at the Regroupement des centres de la petite enfance for the Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches regions. “She can make choices and small decisions, and handle herself in a variety of situations,” says the coordinator. “She can express and defend her point of view. She can also act in order to protect her physical well-being when faced with danger. She can, for example, react by saying “no” firmly when a child wants to grab her toy from her, or she can place her hands in front of her so that another child doesn’t hit her.”
The more self-sufficient your child is, the more her creativity, sense of initiative, confidence, self-esteem and ability to affirm herself will grow. “All this will help her to become a responsible adult,” says Provencher.