Building resilience and confidence in your preschooler is important. It’s all about learning when and how to step back and let your child learn through experience.
A parent told me about a playground incident she experienced. It sums up some current issues regarding independence for young children. The mother, Jean, was sitting talking with some friends while her 3-year-old daughter, Ella, played and then fell off a climber on the playground. The mother watched and continued to talk with the other parents.
Jean had to stop another parent from running over to Ella. The 3-year-old sat for a minute, then stood up, and brushed off her leg. She got right back up on the climber. It’s not about being harsh or not caring for a hurt child. It is about parents allowing children to grow and handle situations on their own. Jean could see her child was not hurt. As a parent, Jean wants Ella to learn to take care of herself. She also knows Ella will ask for help when she needs it.
Adults can help young children find their voices, strengths, and independence. We can also help children learn how to handle the challenges they face. In most cases, helping a child to grow requires adults knowing when to step back.
Children need to be allowed freedom to fall, fail, and experiment on their own. As parents and teachers in the lives of young children, we can guide them, but children must be allowed room to grow and discover things for themselves. Adults who worry and hover over children create dependent young adults. Our children are like mirrors. Your stress is their stress. Your confidence is their confidence.
Today’s post is a little reminder. We all need space to grow and we grow the most from our mistakes!