After given a birth, babies can merely cry. They are so dependent on people around them because of not been able to help themselves. Crying is the way they communicates feelings and desires. They cry when feeling hungry and thirsty, less uncomfortable, bored, tired, or sick. To leave any place, they need the help of others to hold or push cart. How babies really need the intervention of people around to help meeting needs and desires.
Baby’s condition is so fragile and by their inability to meet their own needs, it encourages parents and surroundings to protect from the various problems that could threaten them. Protection is given so that children feel safe and comfortable, so they can grow and develop properly. Meeting the needs of sufficient food, comfortable clothing, shelter and fun playground, and also safe environment are parent efforts to protect their children from various problems.
But it cannot be forever for children being dependent to their parents. With by various reasons, at some point parents have to leave the child and they must learn to protect themselves and solve their own problems.
In early childhood, children begin to know that their behavior is their own. They began to declare their independence or autonomy. The ability of children to protect their own selves and solve their own problems can not be formed automatically. The role of parents is necessary in shaping their children’s attitude of independence from an early age. Some mistakes the parents do often hamper for child to become independence:
- The Hero. When his speaking ability is not yet shaped, children use crying as a means of communication. However, when children cry, their parents or caregivers do not always have to help by right away picking them up or breastfeeding them. The children’s cry may just signify boredom, uncomforting clothes, or loneliness that it needs only to talk to them or just change their clothes.
- The Servant. Treating children like the king means holding the child back from independence. Since the child can walk, get use them to step by their own selves when they’re walking. When the child is already able to retrieve items that are within his reach, let him reach it.
- Avoiding the mess. Children’s wish to eat by themselves often is hampered by the parents being reluctant to clean the mess after children finish eating. Unwilling to see the house in a chaos with food crumbs scattered, parents often choose to feed their children rather than let them eat by themselves.
- Giving to many restrictions. A form of affection towards children is often understood by providing excessive protection. It is because the parents don’t want the baby hurt, dirty, or get an accident that they impose many restrictions, such as prohibition to climbing, playing with dirt and so forth. Too many restrictions will limit the children’s progression, make them afraid to make decisions, and lack of confidence.
Who doesn’t want their children to be independent? To establish these attitudes, parents play an important role in their habit of independence since early childhood. Here are tips to develop the attitude of child’s independence;
- In accordance to the stage of child’s development. Give your children the stimulus that encourages independence in accordance with their development. When he/she is running a crawl, do not force him/her to walk upright, but give the child the opportunity to confidently use the ability to explore the surrounding environment. When he/she is able to hold utensils, give them a chance to eat by their own self though it will be a whole mess.
- Let your children trying. Humans learn from mistakes. Provide space for children to try out their capabilities, although it is not yet perfect, messy or there are mistakes here and there.
- Don’t criticize too much. Do not drop your children’s self-esteem every time the children try to do something and not succeed.
- Give praise. Children are entitled to an award when they try to do something by themselves. Praising given will foster confidence in doing things by themselves.
Parents’ patience and consistency greatly affect the success of the child’s independence since the process itself indeed takes a long time.