When she is already 3 years old, child is more skilled in controlling her part of body, using them when she wants to do something to get what she wants. And when she can do by herself she will say loudly and happily, ‘Look what I have done!’ She must be very happy when she can wear her clothes, shoes, build the blocks, tidy up the toys and other activities without help from other people. At that age, child likes exploring things surround her and try anything that attracts her attention. She wants to show others that she can do anything by herself.
Build her confidence
Karen Stephen, in Self Help Skills and Chores Build Children’s Identity and Confidence, wrote when child is happy in showing what she has done, it means that she is in process in building her confidence. Because she is successful in doing anything, it will make child proud of herself. The proud and the independence that are created in herself will improve her confidence.
But parents sometimes mess up the process of confidence building by forbid her trying to do something without their help. They do that for several reasons like they don’t want to wait or they want everything is still clean. Even the expression of parents love at children can be exaggerated like fulfilling all her wants or preparing baby sitter who looks after her for 24 hours. It will make child spoil and dependant. The way of taking care like this will make child late in her independence building process compare to her friends. Dependant with others, the low effort, and easy to give up will disturb her confidence building process.
Involve without intervention
Self-Help skill is the key of confidence. Building child self-help skill is not an instant process that can be done easily. Parents involvement needed in building child self-help-skill but intervention from parents should be avoided to give child space to try anything by herself and learn from the faults that she did. In order to build child self-help skill, Dr. Brenda Hussey-Gardner gives tips for parents:
- Understanding the steps of child development. Stimulation which is given to stimulate child development must be suitable with her age, done step by step, and do it continually. By understanding the steps of child development, parents can give the right stimulation and don’t force child to do something that she can’t do.
- Training her to do something by herself. Training child can be started since she is still baby like not always carry her. When her hands can hold something, give the food equipments so she can hold them by herself. Show her the way of wearing clothes, combing her hair, brushing her teeth, throwing rubbish at dustbin, etc. Besides, train her to make decision by giving her some choices like what color of clothes she wants to wear, red or yellow, what kind of toys she wants to play with, lego or puzzle. By giving her freedom to decide something, her confidence will be formed.
- Become a role model. Child always sees and imitates what her parents have done. Become independent parents if you want to see your child becomes independent. The skilled parents will overcome problem by themselves and don’t depend on others include servant. This will give a good example for your child.
- Let your child to do something with herself. Sometimes parents are not patient waiting child when she wears her clothes, shoes, and parents will help her soon. This ‘good’ attitude is not always true because this intervention will disturb the independence learning process. Because of that, patience and consistency really needed. Give your child space to do anything by herself. Don’t forget give her compliment in every progress that she did to improve her confidence.
Do this effort step by step, continually, based on child development so her independence character can be formed. Make your child usual with that pattern. Happy trying!