Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Never Micromanage

(source: skinnymom.com)

Children need some control, more when they are young, but parents should never micromanage.  By micromanage I am talking about controlling and managing every step of every little thing the child does.  For instance, if the child is getting dressed, a micromanaging parent will choose the clothes even if it means a big fight with the child, make sure they are putting things on in the right order, take over when the child isn't moving fast enough and put the child's clothes on and tie their shoes for them.

Now, depending on the child's age and ability many of these choices can be done by the child himself.  It will take him more time, and you may have to teach about weather, and matching, but the choice and the actions could be left up to the child himself.

The reason this is important is that children need to practice making good choices and following through independently.  You don't want to be dressing your child when he/she is eight years old.  You want your child to learn to take care of himself.  So I always start as young as I can with letting children do things for themselves including things like walking themselves to school with an older child, making their own sandwiches, getting their own breakfast and snacks, choosing their own activities.  I also sometimes let them make wrong choices so they can learn from their experience.

As they get older, I do things like give them jobs, and say, you can choose when to do this, but you can't play outside with friends until it is done.  Sometimes they choose to do it late in the day, but then they learn by their own experience that if you procrastinate, you don't get as much time with friends.  This teaches them way better than anything I can tell them (although I do sit them down and explain after the fact, about their choice and its consequence).

You would be amazed at how much happier a child is when he has some independence.  Independence gives children confidence and self-esteem.  It is important to note that when you give them independence you also need to offer support.  So if they have questions, be there.  If they need teaching, be there.  And if they need comfort after making a wrong choice, it is important to let them experience the consequence, but you can comfort them and ask them what they can do better next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment