Here at Charlotte Montessori School, we will be answering one question a month from our parent community regarding eating habits, challenging behaviors, bedtime routines, handling meltdowns in public, etc. The question this week focuses on promoting independence in the home environment.
- When my child is at home she says she needs help with everything. When I ask her to do something, she whines and says she can’t do it by herself. How can I get her to become more independent?’
The children are required to do things for themselves each day at school whether that is putting their things in their cubbies, serving their snack or putting their jackets on. It is important to be consistent with your child and let her know that it is her responsibility to take care of her things just as it is your responsibility to take care of your things. Set clear limits, for example “we will not go outside to play until you put your shoes on.” Make sure that your child is developmentally able to do the task on her own. Provide ways to ensure success when completing daily activities. For example, provide a step stool in the bathroom so she is able to reach the light and sink without seeking assistance.
Here are some additional ways you can help promote independence in your home:
- Start having expectations when they are young with developmentally appropriate tasks
- Remind them that they have these same responsibilities at school
- Ask what part of the task she needs help with…make sure she is being set up to be successful
- Provide positive attention…maybe she is not doing a task because she wants to spend more time with you
- Reassure her that “she can do it” then walk way
- Insist that if she needs help she uses a non-whiny tone to ask for help