How to make your child autonomous?: Anne Bacus, a clinical psychologist, and early childhood specialist gives advice to parents who are worried about their child’s autonomy. In her book “100 ways to make her child self-reliant”, published by Marabout, she explains what role parents have in the different stages of the autonomy of the child, from an early age. Explanations.
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Autonomy in children: from experiences to independence
In an IPSOS survey of December 2015, sponsored by Danone, the parents revealed their perceptions of the autonomy of their children. The majority of them responded that “the first steps and the first school year were the most critical stages in children aged 2 to 6 years”. Other interesting elements: a large proportion of parents consider that eating or drinking alone and being clean were reliable indicators of self-sufficiency. Anne Bacus, a clinical psychologist, thinks that it is a process that lasts from birth to adulthood and that we must not take into account only the learning of everyday life.
The importance of the no in development
Very early, around 15 months, the child starts saying “no.” This is the first significant step in autonomy, according to Anne Bacus. The child challenges his parents by expressing a differentiation. Gradually, he is going to want to do things on his own. “This is a critical step. Parents must respect this momentum and encourage their toddler to do alone, “the psychologist said. “These are the basics for building self-esteem and confidence,” she says. Then about three years old, at the age of entry to kindergarten, he will oppose and affirm his will. “The child expresses the desire to be autonomous, it is a spontaneous action: he wants to go to others, to explore and to learn. At that moment, one must respect one’s desires. This is how autonomy will take place, naturally and quickly, “continues the specialist.
The parent must not object
When a child says that he wants to make his shoelaces, to dress himself in his favorite clothes, at 8 o’clock in the morning when he has to go quickly to school, it can quickly become complicated for the parent. “Even if it is not the right time, you should not face your child face-to-face. This can be seen as if the parent thought his toddler was not able to do this or that, “says Anne Bacus. It is critical that the adult can accommodate the child’s request. Moreover, if it is not possible to realize it right away, we must propose to him to defer his desire to make his laces alone, at another time. ” The important thing is to take into account the momentum of the child and not to say no.
The child then trusts
“The child will gain some confidence in him. Even if he gets excited at first to make his laces, then, by dint of trying, he will succeed. In the end, he will have a good image of himself and his skills, “adds Anne Bacus. The positive and warm messages of the parents are reassuring for the child. Gradually, he will take confidence, think and act by himself. It is a primary phase that allows the child to self-regulate and learn to trust.
How to help your child take off?
The parent must act as a guide for his or her child. “He is such a coach in taking the child’s autonomy. He accompanies her by creating a strong, trusting bond that must be as solid as possible, “observes the specialist. One of the keys to success is to trust her child, reassure him to allow him to get away. “The parent can be a support to help his child overcome his fears. Role-playing, for example, helps overcome it. We are acting in a certain way before a danger. It is also valid for the parent for that matter. He also learns to overcome his apprehension, “says Anne Bacus. The specialist formulates other tips to make her child as independent as possible, Such as valuing the job well done or giving it small responsibilities. In the end, the more the child grows, the more he will acquire new skills by himself. Not to mention that the more confident and autonomous he is during his childhood, the more quickly he will fly with his wings as an adult. Moreover, this is the mission of every parent …
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