Independence is very important in a preschooler’s day to day life. A child’s self help skills are the first to be noticed by an early childhood educator. Is the child able to help themselves when in need or does she/he need guidance. By the time a child is two they are able to start doing little tasks by themselves, such as getting their own napkin and cup during snack time. At three a child can put away their blanket into their nap sack with little direction, and of course there is always the child that will say “but teacher I can’t do it”. At the age of four children are pretty self sufficient to dress themselves, clean up after themselves and follow directions without much guidance.
As a teacher of young children it is hard to see a child struggle with a task but with years of experience it is known that it’s better to let the child try to do it on their own rather than doing it for them. Can a child ever learn if a teacher hovers over their shoulder cleaning up after them and doing everything for them. Guidance is a great way to foster independence by asking the child can I help you if you see them struggle.
For busy parents making your child independent is not always number one on the morning list to get ready for school when rushing to get out the door. Solutions to this are easy, take time out on a day off and practice with your child putting on their shoes or jacket.It is a good way to guide your preschooler to succeed in school and it helps them feel a sense of pride for accomplishing a paticular task.
Preschooler’s thrive on being able to do things on their own and they will acknowledge when they master a job that has been hard for them. Across a preschool classroom hearing a loud voice say “I did it teacher I made my mat all by myself look”, it brings warmth to a teachers heart for a child to gain that confidence and feel joy of what it brings,success.
Being independent will help a child achieve goals and work towards them even if tough at times. There is no reward if there is no action. Self esteem is learned by the guidance of people around you that help you feel relevant and good about yourself and who you are as a person.
Independence for a preschooler is having that push by a role model, parent or teacher to help them by providing little steps to attain those difficult tasks. Believing in a child helps them know that when needed you will come and that will take them on the way to self discovery to be the little unique people they are.