Letting kids ‘do it on their own’

My son likes to dress himself. At 2.5, that’s a great thing, but I find it hard. His shoes are on the right way, 50% of the time.  His crocs are green, only because the pink ones, the colour he really wanted, weren’t available in his size. (He has an older sister, she influences a lot of his decisions.)

My son with his shoes on backwords

He puts his shoes on the right feet... 50% of the time!

I read a quote recently by Dale Carnegie:  “Don’t laugh at a child’s ambitions. . . . Above all, don’t help your child to do something that they can accomplish on their own. Don’t deny them the priceless privilege and thrill of developing their own success.”

This quote reminded me of a Montessori film I saw a few years ago called Edison’s Day (you can order it here).  Edison would wake up in his regular bed (not crib), choose his clothes, get dressed by himself, head over to the kitchen, open the fridge to get the jug of milk and pour himself a bowl of cereal…all of this at 18 months!  The film followed Edison as he explored the world.  He made pizza, washed and dried the dishes, took a bath…all these activities were lead by him and facilitated by his parents. It’s an amazing film that I encourage all parents to watch.  It’s difficult to try to let our kids lead the way all the time…often time in the day doesn’t allow for that. But the idea of not helping kids do something that they can accomplish on their own is so inspiring.

About Agatha Stawicki

Agatha Stawicki is the publisher at Our Kids Media. Follow her at @AgathaStawicki on Twitter.

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