Self-Help skills: Why they are so important
Self-help skills are essential to a child’s growth and development. Research has proven children learn best by doing and not just by being told how to do. The old saying rings true, “practice makes perfect.” They will make mistakes but we have to allow our children to do just that or they will not learn. When they are successful in their attempts at a task, get excited for them and let them know you recognize they worked hard completing that task successfully. It gives a child great joy to accomplish the task on their own.
Self-help skills are problem solving skills and independence builders. Teaching our children to do things for themselves at a young age enables them to use problem solving skills and critical thinking skills. These skills will be vital to life and will help them function independently. It is our jobs to build up our children and give them the knowledge they need to be successful people. Once children start becoming more independent their self confidence grows.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I was the perfect Montessori mom always teaching valuable skills and talking to them about their successes. I was the mom struggling to get out the door with 2 kids 2 years apart on time for work. But you have to slow yourself down to benefit your children. Let them pour the milk into their cereal, let them help water the plants, let them help fold the laundry or put their own clothes away in the dresser. They may spill it, or put it in the wrong drawer but let them try. It is important to accept the spilled milk or the incorrectly placed items, they will get it right soon enough.