Many parents want their child to grow up independent knowing what they are interested in and going after their dreams. Research shows that early childhood learning plays an important role in encouraging children’s independence. In this article, we will introduce tips for helping children gain their independence through early childhood learning.
・Teach your child the foundation only
To encourage your child’s independence, it is important that parents do not teach them steps 1-10 from the beginning. Sharing with them only the basics to begin with will grab their interest and encourage them to think on their own.
On the other hand, children who grow up dependent on others will be more likely to wait for someone to provide the answer instead of thinking on their own. Since the goal is to encourage independence, it is important that parents stop after teaching their child the basics. If parents do everything for their child, it will be difficult for him/her to become independent.
・Encourage your child to think for him/herself
In addition to gaining independence it is important for children to learn how to think for themselves. It is the parents’ job to give them hints so that they move in the right direction. However, many parents are afraid that their child will make a mistake and get too involved. As a result, we often see the case where a parent forces their thoughts on their child and ends up doing everything for them. Even though the child is trying to figure out how to do things on his/her own their parent often ends up interrupting and doing everything for them.
If parents always decide that their child cannot do it on their own and do it for them, it will be difficult for their child to become independent. From the parents’ point of view, their child will always be their child but he or she is developing every day. If they want him/her to become independent, it is important that they step back and let their child figure things out for themselves.
It is important that parents are careful to not impose their thoughts on their children so much that their child waits for their parents or an adults answer before trying to do something on their own.
・Accept your child’s personality
Each child is not a replica of his/her parents and he/she has his/her own personality. Even if their personality is very different than their parents it is important that they are accepted for who they are. An individual’s interests and autonomy are greatly influenced by their personality. If you want your child to gain autonomy it is important that you do not interfere with his/her thoughts and actions.
For example, a parent may want his/her child to wear red clothes even though their child may prefer wearing blue clothes. In this case, if the parent forces their child to wear red clothes, he/she will be suppressing his/her likes and personality.
Let’s be careful not to force our beliefs and thoughts on our children and instead allow them to become their own individual! This does not mean that you need to allow your child to do whatever he/she wants and say whatever he/she wants all the time. There is a difference between “neglecting them” and “watching over them”. Of course, it is necessary to stop them if they are bothering or hurting others. The important point is to step back and give them room to think and act for themselves.
Children who grow up independent will be better able to use their power and beliefs to their advantage when they get older. Also, independence is something children develop as they grow up and is difficult to acquire as an adult. How much parents get involved and offer help when their child is young will greatly influence their child’s personality.
We recommend attending an early learning center with your child because it will give him/her the chance to learn new things, make new friends and interact with people of many ages and backgrounds. These activities will help your child establish his/her own personality. Early learning centers that teach classes in English have the added benefit of helping your child become interested in language and communication. Please try taking your child to an early learning center and help him/her gain independence!