As much as you love caring for your child, you don’t want them to be completely dependent on you. In fact, the parents’ role in a child’s life is to teach them how to be an independent person. Independence is a lesson that begins in infancy as your child begins to feed themselves, and often doesn’t end until well into adulthood. The preschool years are primetime for learning the intellectual and emotional skills to be more self-reliant. There are years to come of growing autonomy, so doing what you can now to foster healthy independence in your child will pay off as they begin having sleepovers, participating in extracurricular activities, and the most dreaded of all, driving. Of course, the key here is balancing their need for self-sufficiency and safety. Over the next two blogs, we will go over age-appropriate ways you can help your preschooler become more independent.
Leave time for free play
These days, it’s common for parents to overschedule their children. Whether it’s piano lessons, soccer practice, or play dates, even preschoolers are experiencing helicopter parents’ need to schedule every moment of their day. This type of behavior prevents the child from being independent because it doesn’t allow them the free time to make their own decisions about how they want to spend their time. Be sure that your child has plenty of unstructured time to freely gambol in the backyard or create their own universes in the playroom.
Let them figure things out for themselves
When your child is visibly frustrated, it’s tempting to jump in and take over whatever task they are trying to complete. However, if your child never experiences the frustration of trying to figure something out by themselves, they will always turn to you to solve all of their problems. Give your child some time to figure it out for themselves, and only step in after giving them the opportunity.
In our next blog, we will continue to go over some ways you can foster independence in your preschooler. In the meantime, if you need a Tustin preschool, contact Adventures in Learning. We offer a nurturing environment in which your child can learn independence.