2. Allow for time
Sometimes, all we need to do is be more aware of the moment and allow our child to have time to practice skills. So, when you’re planning your activities for the day, allow for more time to accomplish some tasks such as putting on shoes, prepping meals and cleaning up. And building more time into your schedule will relieve stress for both of you. When you simply plan for more time in your schedule, you suddenly are not this frantic parent trying to race against the clock. And then you, yourself can be a calmer influence on your child, and then be there to help your child develop these skills in a stress-free environment.
I am not saying that it is always possible to allow for time. Sometimes, we are in the rush, especially during the week. But if at least, we can try to allow for time during the weekend, this is already amazing. We tend to plan a lot, and sometimes way too much.
The children end up going from a piano lesson to the judo class and then visiting a friend before going to the museum and the grocery stores.
But wouldn’t it be more comfortable for everyone to not plan anything?
Your child wants to stay home playing with his activities. Awesome! Your child wants to go to the park for a short walk, what a great idea. And then, if nothing is planned, he/she will have plenty of time to try to tie his/her shoes, without anyone pointing out that we are already late.
3. Observe and support
As adults, we have the tendency to jump right in and squashing our child’s opportunity to learn and discover for themselves. So, I encourage you to step back and observe your child in the activities he is trying to do independently, only offering support when he requests it from us. As you watch, try not to intervene. When you intervene, and even give them little hints here and there, you are doing the work for them.
Stepping in as little as possible supports their growth.
By doing so, you are demonstrating that you have faith in their capabilities to be able to accomplish the tasks, but by staying close you are also showing them that you support them, and you are there if they need help. Especially in a new developing skill, it is important that you remain close and attentive to their needs.
Stepping back and doing less, can do more than you think.