Did you know that it is essential to stimulate your child’s autonomy? It may seem silly, but allowing the child to perform varied tasks alone since the earliest age makes a lot of difference in their development. Simple things like reaching for a toy, picking a fruit for their snack and even brushing their teeth make a real impact in it. Among other benefits, autonomy nurtured during childhood creates more creative, empowering, responsible and problem-solving kids ready to learn more complex adult skills. We have prepared a quick guide with practical tips to stimulate your child’s autonomy from an early age.
Check out 7 skills needed for the child’s autonomy:
1. Power of choice
Learn to choose from an early age; this is important to define personality, preferences, tastes… is the basis of the child’s autonomy.
How to stimulate: allow the baby to participate in small choices on a daily basis. Choosing which fruit to eat is a good start. Then children can choose the book they want to see, the clothes they will wear, etc. At the beginning, limit the options so that they don’t feel lost, and expand the range of items as the child gets better at it.
2. Deal with frustration
Dealing with frustration is critical in order for the child to become a happy adult and not someone constantly dissatisfied.
How to stimulate: let the child deal with their limitations or mistakes. Let them try and fail assembling a toy, for example; allow them to try and get frustrated if she can not. When older, let them make choices even though you know they will not like what they chose. Allow your child to deal with the result and do not criticize them; explain that there will be new chances to make new choices.
3. Self-knowledge and self-confidence
Knowing and recognizing one’s own limitations and qualities helps the child to know what he or she is not capable of and is the key to self-improvement and emotional good health.
How to stimulate: the first step is to give sensory stimuli. That is: let babies know their own body and the world around them. Jokes like lying face down to reach for a toy or feel different textures help. Play in the sand, on the grass, on the ground. The ideal is that they feel the world in their own way, smelling objects, touching, and so on. The second step is to show that you believe in the child’s capacity, something that will help them believe in themselves. This not only allow them to perform simple tasks (such as wearing a uniform), but also gives them room to discover their own way of doing things. Show that you support the child when he or she makes a mistake, and if it does, rebuke what they have done and not how or who the are.
Babies start communicating very early with crying, but with our help they learn to express themselves in other ways.
How to stimulate: with cognitive stimuli. Assembling or fitting toys and toys that play music are some examples. In addition, reading stories to children since babies is a worldwide recommendation, as it strengthens the bond and helps in language development.
5. Motor coordination
Have you ever heard of fine and gross motor coordination? Drawing and eating with a spoon are all done thanks to fine motor coordination. Gross coordination is related to walking and jumping.
How to stimulate: for the thin, it is enough to propose activities that involve the movements of the hands (and their small muscles), like holding a biter, painting with crayons or playing with clay. For the thick, let the child explore free spaces, being able to run, play and move. Include ball in play helps!
Being afraid is natural, and healthy. But the courage to overcome it is essential for the child to take on challenges, learn new things, and defend what he or she wants.
How to stimulate: Give space for your child to express what he or she is feeling, and show that you understand it. Using books, music, drawings, and other playful resources that talk about fears can help.
The key to all learning. After all, just trying (and often failing) is how we learn! Therefore, the sooner the child understands this mechanism, the better.
How to stimulate: with positive stimuli. When the child is learning to walk and take a fall, for example, help him start over, and let him go free to try again. Resist doing something for the child just because it is not working. When you’re older, you can talk about the fact that not being successful in one moment does not mean you can never succeed. Sports also help in this understanding and are great for the autonomy of the child.