When is the time for children's independence?

Kiedy przychodzi czas na samodzielność u dzieci?

Every parent wants to surround their children with care and guardianship. As time goes by and toddlers grow up, all we can do is observe their behavior. It is important to teach your child independence and responsibility from an early age. It does not mean rigorous upbringing or giving the toddler too many responsibilities. It is good to keep the balance here.

What does independence actually mean?

There is a lot of "Missy Self-Reliance" among us, even in the case of many adults. This is not a bad thing. Independence is a sign of maturity. We are ready to take the next step, to learn a new thing without help from others. At the beginning, it is important to have some parent's supervision. With time, when your child notices that he or she is doing something right, will want to learn more about the world and try new challenges. Let's consider that if our little observers didn't watch us so closely, we probably wouldn't be able to teach them much. And that is what gives a parent the greatest joy.

Independence - is it for me?

If you prefer to do some daily activities for your child, there is nothing wrong with that. However, remember that often doing too much for them in seemingly difficult things, from the parent's point of view, will make that such a child will not develop well. Especially in the company of independent peers. Because in fact, as the years go by, we are becoming independent in everything. Starting from trying to sit up by ourselves as a toddler, eating with a spoon or tying our shoes by ourselves. Independence is such a broad concept that in today's article we decided to focus on independence in getting dressed.

I want to dress myself!

The above phrase is the bane of many parents. In the rush to work, being late, unfinished coffee, you still have to take the child to kindergarten... and get stressed even more, because the kids want to dress themselves. Similarly, it is worth putting ourselves in the child's position and understand why he or she cares so much about something like that. In order to show you what I mean, I'll go back to my personal independent experiences. I remember when my mother was busy making me breakfast in the kitchen. There was a huge challenge in front of me, I had to get dressed on my own. Kindergarten was just a few minutes away, but time doesn't count in the closet. I chose my outfit and put on my jacket. I was afraid that my mom would see what I was wearing - but it worked. I was incredibly proud of myself. There was no end to the colors. Dungarees, tights, necklaces, whatever your heart desires. Was it a successful experience? Definitely, although I may have forgotten to add that it was the day of my class photos and, to put it mildly, I attracted a lot of attention :)

So where to begin?

As the followers of the Montessori method, we believe that children should be focused on their tasks, strive for independence, build self-confidence and view the world with courage. Being able to empathize with others, they are willing to help and show great social initiative. Additionally, patience and determination are desirable qualities, meaning they do not give up in their efforts.

Below we have written down a list of tips useful in your wardrobe adventures:

1. Underwear and socks are everyday items, they should be placed in the lowest drawers of cabinets, easily accessible.

2. Segregation of clothes should be visible, child should be able to notice any clothes, without unnecessary searching of the closet. Additionally, you can print pictures of clothes' shapes, so that it is easy to see what is in which drawer.

3. It's a good idea to sort clothes by colour - it's an easy way to find things that are appropriate to wear on a given day. This also applies to toys. Segregating by colour will make your child learn where their favorite things are.

4. In the case of younger children, let's focus on clothes that we can easily put on - avoid tied shoes, zippers or a lot of buttons. We also adhere to these principles when creating our products. For example, bathing poncho is designed in such a way that it is suitable for self-dressing. It is ease to put on over the head, and the latches are easy to fasten.

Why is independent dressing so important?

In addition to being an everyday activity you can't function without, getting dressed on your own is more educational than you might think. While putting on clothes, children have to demonstrate good eye-hand coordination, as well as controlled tensing or relaxing of individual muscle groups and their body awareness. At what age should toddlers master some of their closet management skills?

Toddlers to three years

The smallest of our self-dressing explorers between the ages of 2,5 and 3 are the most committed dressers. This is when your child is most often determined to dress themselves. Activities they should be doing include:

undress themselves (except for difficult to undo clothing or shoes that have laces)

put on most clothes, including shoes

child will still need help distinguishing right-left, back-and-forth, and more complicated fastenings

Between 3 and 4 years comes time for:

independently fastening larger parts; buttons, zippers, and velcro

putting shoes and gloves on, distinguishing between the appropriate sides

putting the underwear and shirts on without confusing the front and back

putting pantyhose on

taking pants off (without taking the underwear off at the same time)

Between 4 and 5 years the child learns:

independent and daily dressing, our child should already have his or her own dressing system

acquiring the ability to choose clothes appropriate for the weather conditions

Children older than 5 should be taught to take care of their own closet. These children should already half-care about what they wear and know how to put their things back in their place. As time goes by and parent's help in sorting out the clothes is reduced to a minimum, it is a good idea to teach children to sort out the dirty clothes for the laundry - their personal laundry basket will help with this.

We wish you that children's independence will become a great adventure!

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