"teaching independence makes them grow up too fast"

Discussion in 'Toddler & Pre-School' started by AngelofTroy, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. AngelofTroy

    AngelofTroy Well-Known Member

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    This is what my OH said to me last night.

    My instinct with Micah has always been to encourage independence. I have worked in early years and special needs, and I have always found that children with relatively little control over their lives blossom when given the chance to take some responsibility for their own needs, and are proud of themselves when they can contribute.

    I take ideas from Montessori books and blogs as well as following my initiative, but we don't follow any particular parenting style.

    However, I mentioned to OH yesterday that I'd like to set up a Montessori style self care area for Micah, with a mirror and a hairbrush and hanky, I'm helping him to take off his own socks and her starting to help with taking other clothes off. And OH commented that I'm making him grow up too fast.

    Micah will be one on Sunday, he will put things that he's dropped in the bin after meals if I make a game out of it, I ask him to wipe his face after meals but I'll still finish off, he helps me feed the cat, I encourage him to "tidy" his toys back to where they come from (although this is very much a work in progress!)

    I didn't think there could possibly be a negative to all this! Micah enjoys 'helping' most of the time. But is OH right? I don't want to be a 'pushy parent' and I want him to enjoy being a baby, being a toddler. Now I'm worrying that I've put too much on him.

    I admit we sometimes spend a long time on simple things as I'll wait for Micah to bring me his shoes for example, not all the time as we're often in a rush, but if we have time then I'll encourage him to fetch things himself and he understands a lot of instructions! Am I a mean mummy? Please be honest!
     
  2. annanouska

    annanouska Well-Known Member

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    :hugs: nope! Sounds wonderful, I try this too with my lo but it doesn't go to plan all the time. Provided children have free time to play, explore and make mess I don't see the issue with encouraging tidying etc after.its cause and effect. My lo won't let me do a lot of things (feeding ESP) but isn't great himself with cutlery but I can't stop him from wanting to do it himself, that would be against his development.

    My lo can't walk yet tho so some things are a bit harder and he likes to take things out the bin then out them back in :haha:
     
  3. AngelofTroy

    AngelofTroy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you :) Micah will also take things out of the bin! :dohh: he knows what I'm going to say as he shakes his head and makes a "yeuch" sound as he does it, but he still does it and laughs!
     
  4. Natsku

    Natsku Well-Known Member

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    You're not a mean mummy! I think its very important to encourage independence in age-appropriate ways so teaching him self-care is just right. I do the same with Maria, I ask her to try first with putting shoes on (she can do it some of the time but the rest of the time she needs help), to put rubbish in the bin, to try and tidy up her mess with her dustpan and brush and she puts her trolley back herself in the right place in the supermarket. The pride I see in her face after she does something by herself tells me that it is a very good thing to do!
     
  5. Destiny08

    Destiny08 Well-Known Member

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    i have the exact same style lol my DD is very independent and i love it that way. she's also been spending weekends at her grandparents once a month since she was about 6 months old.
    i want her to love me ofc and need me as any child does. but OH and i arent going to be around forever. so i want her to learn right from the start that she can do things for herself :shrug:
     
  6. jodilee6

    jodilee6 Well-Known Member

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    I must be super mean mummy, I get LO to help me load the dishwasher and washing machine. He also gets to push the button to turn them on!

    I do the tidying away after meals, before bedtime etc... And LO is starting to be able to help dress/undress himself. I think these are valuable life skills and they certainly don't detract from his ability to spin round in a circle fast until he makes himself dizzy and fall over!!
     
  7. bookreader

    bookreader Well-Known Member

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    I think it help build esteem.
    My LO often helps me, he wants to, always grabbing the broom and things. Obviously it is all very age appropriate, but yes, I think it is great for their confidence.
     
  8. aliss

    aliss Well-Known Member

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    Yeah this is very easy to say for a man who hands them a bag of cheerios for 20 minutes after work and they are super dad. For the rest of us that do 99% of the work, independence is a blessing!
     
  9. Pixie19

    Pixie19 Mummy to Logan

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    Gosh i must be EVIL then!
    Logans been taking his own nappy to the bin after nappy change since he was 9 months old!
    He also 'washes' himself in the bath, helps me put washing in and take it out of the machine, cleans his highchair, tidies his toys, puts rubbish in the bin, sweeps the floor, passes me anything i ask for....basically he's my well trained little slave :winkwink:

    I think its great to teach them independence and to help out, if they didnt want to then they wouldnt!
    Logan sure lets me know when he doesn't want to do something!!
     
  10. jodilee6

    jodilee6 Well-Known Member

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    Also, I don't want my son to turn out like his father and be a lazy ass :haha:

    (I do love my OH... Honest!)
     
  11. jd83

    jd83 Mom to 2 beautiful boys!

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    I think its a good thing! I think them havign some independent responsibility instills pride in themselves. When my kids help me with things, they generally are incredibly proud of themselves, sometimes even applaud themselves, LOL! I wouldn't make them do things they absolutely hate doing that are not even age appropriate, but I find nothing wrong with having them throw a piece of trash or a diaper away, helping me take the laundry out of the dryer, putting books back on the shelf, etc. My older son loooooves to brush his hair and look in the mirror. He tells me after he brushes his hair that it made him handsome, lol
     
  12. MrsPear

    MrsPear Mum

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    I think what you're doing is good. You wouldn't be teaching him to do those sorts things if he didn't enjoy them anyway because as you say, it's not like you're a slave to a certain parenting 'style' and are just following a book. You're following what Micah is showing interest in and reflecting his current capabilities. I'm sure you encourage him to take his socks off etc because you've seen he's capable and has been trying it for himself. Same with self care too, kids are interested in mimicking things like brushing hair from a really early age- so you're just giving him that opportunity to explore something he will naturally be taking interest in, and the benefit is that he will get a 'real world' (couldn't think of another way to say it) result (i.e. being more independent at personal care) at the end of it. x
     
  13. Ganton

    Ganton Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it's a bad thing at all. My LO loves takin the washing out of the machine, then putting it back in again, then out again, then in 😄

    He also loves playing with the dustpan and brush and wiping things with tissues, so I just use that to my advantage sometimes to get him to "help" with cleaning his hoghchair, sweeping the floor, dusting etc. He doesn't actually help much at the moment but he enjoys it and I think it's good to start to teach them to take basic tasks.
     
  14. Tess.ie

    Tess.ie In love with our lil girl

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    I do the same things with my LO :) I never even considered that it might be mean, i think it's great for these little people to be able to participate in their own lives! Chloe loves washing her face and brushing her hair (and ours too) and wiping the table and passing me potatoes that need peeled, and putting away her bath toys, taking off her socks, choosing between 2 kinds of fruit for a snack, and so many other things. It's all age appropriate of course, and nothing is forced on her. But certainly we encourage her when she shows an interest in something :) I don't think it makes them grow up too fast.
     
  15. MLC20

    MLC20 Well-Known Member

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    I think as long as it's age appropriate which it sounds like everything you do is then it can only benefit the child. My DD loves helping out and while it doesn't always work out she seems to get a sense of achievement from it. I was reading " The secret of Happy Children" by Steve Biddaulph (sp?) tonight and he was taking about children and chores, it was very interesting. We are here to help children learn life skills, childhood is not just a waiting room for adulthood. Children who start doing chores early on and have an age appropriate increase in chores don't mind doing them so much as they get older because they don't know any different. He talks about children setting the table by the age of 4.
     
  16. pinkie77

    pinkie77 Mum of four!

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    Make the most of it, it probably won't last! Phoebe is great at tidying up, putting things in the right place and generally 'helping' but her big sisters and brother are rubbish. It's always someone else's turn or they did it last time lol
     
  17. SarahBear

    SarahBear Well-Known Member

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    Allowing a child to be independent to the best of their ability is not a problem. Forcing a child to do something they're not capable of and then having a negative consequence for it is when it becomes a problem.
     

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