A child needs to feel safe and have basic trust in their environment. This sense of safety and trust is very important when they are learning new levels of independence. Opportunities for success in children’s independence occur daily. However, as parents and educators we may miss those moments of independence or take them away, without realizing it. Schedules and time constraints can inhibit the way we handle mornings with a toddler who wants to dress himself or prepare their own breakfast because that is what they do at school.
These are opportunities that we as parents and educators can steal from our child, if we are not careful. Your child may put their shirt, underwear, coat, on backwards or the shoe on the wrong foot and before you know it, you swoop in and correct them. We forget to honor and respect the process… and the skill needed to put on a shoe, a shirt, underwear, or a coat. Children will make mistakes as they learn. We don’t want them to lose motivation or enthusiasm.
Catherine McTamaney (author of The Tao of Montessori), stated at the 2018 MEPI conference “As parents/educators, we should connect the child’s need to time and make time for communication.”Creating time in the evening to communicate about the following days expectations or activities and make a plan that includes the child’s input from select choices such as choice A or B so the decision is not overwhelming about what to eat in the morning/lunch and what to wear. In making time to communicate, you exchange information and let them know you were here once, learning and growing into independence.
Children thrive in an active involvement with their environment. This sense of order brings a sense of reliability and control to the child, when they have an opportunity to have a say in what they eat, drink, wear, etc., within boundaries.
Enjoy the journey of the evolving developmental growth of your child/student and as Catherine stated, “the space in between” by making an environment where the child is successful even when he/she makes a stumble on the way to the top.
And as parents and educators, we must remember to give grace to ourselves… “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” John Steinbeck
“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.” Carl Sagan.