Help him to be independent

Therefore, even if your child needs time and you need patience, it is important that he learns to do things by himself from the age of two. And how is this spirit of autonomy fostered in them, of fending for themselves? Their evolution will lead them to want to do things on their own. The adult's role is to reinforce these attempts with consistent words of encouragement and praise, so they know they are on the right track.

Their progress is to be commended

The natural tendency of most parents is to remember more times when their child disobeys than when they act correctly... and it's something to be avoided. Parents have to thank their good deeds directly through attitudes such as hugs, pats on the back, various "oooh ", "aaah ", commenting on good behavior with other people, praising merits, putting a voice enthusiastic.... At this stage, what children need is to reaffirm their self-esteem. If they do not, they will depend for everything on their parents in excess.

They can't do it all

There are many tasks that children of this age cannot do yet, but that... will try. In fact, they will do it with special interest. It is already known that children tend to prefer what is dangerous, unknown and forbidden. In other words: everything they can't do.

The experts' recommendation is to always offer the child an alternative. In other words, if, for example, your child loves to help you put things in the dishwasher and you fear that he might hurt himself with knives, you can say: «I am very happy that you help me put the dishes and glasses in the dishwasher, but not the forks and knives because you could prick yourself and hurt yourself. How about you help me with the big wooden spoon and then we put the tupperware?».

They are not perfect

The first times kids try something they get it... half. The specialists are committed to waiting until the child does not see us to correct what he has left wrong. If not, the child may associate his spontaneous and enthusiastic acts with unfinished and wrong acts. He will think: "I don't do it well and the grown-ups correct it for me ". Obviously, you need to understand that, just as you discover your possibilities, there are limitations.

The central nervous system matures progressively. A child before the age of four will not be able to tie shoelaces or peel fruit because, biologically, he is not prepared. Adults should not resort to the expression "you are too small...", because it makes you even smaller and can undermine your self-esteem. It is advisable to put yourself in their place, explain that there are things that annoy us because they do not go well, but that there are many others in which we are very competent. Offer you a list of successful tasks that were not successful before, for example: kicking a ball, jumping, combing hair, buttoning..., usually gives very good results.

How long is the stage of ?? yo solito ???

That at this age they want to do practically everything on their own does not mean that they will act like this forever, far from it. They are typical behaviors of this stage. It is a very young age in which it is impossible to predict what their future behavior will be like. In fact, it is common that when a behavior is no longer a novelty and is acquired, it loses interest and stops doing it or decreases its frequency. It is up to parents to reinforce these desirable behaviors so that they are maintained over time.

Offer alternatives
Instead of ordering: "put on the blue shoes!", Ask him: " which shoes do you prefer, the red ones or the blue ones?? ”This is how we offer two possibilities: nobody likes to have no escape and, in addition, we encourage the little one to start making decisions.
Divert your attention
When you keep "erre que erre " with some crazy idea, such as wanting to go out in pajamas or without a jacket in winter, we will use the distraction technique. Instead of asking him: "do you want to wear your clothes??"and then: " do you want me to tell you a very funny adventure with Tom the cat??", it is best to ask him only if he wants us to tell him about an adventure, not if he wants to put on his clothes. The objective is to divert attention to another much more attractive subject.

Advisor: Remei Salvat, child psychologist at the ISEP Baix Camp de Tarragona clinic.

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