Sunday, 29 September 2013

Empowering Children - The importance of letting go


I recently did my first guest blog about "Empowering Children" for

Update-
It's been 9 months from my guest post with the Early Learning Centre  and I would like to now share it here, for those who haven't read it yet! I talk about Empowering children in a lot of my post, and I'm very passionate about not understanding our little monsters!!

Children’s experiences at home and in care should be positive, inspiring and empowering! In saying this I feel that the empowering bit sometimes gets left on the wayside, especially in the early years of a child’s life. As adults we’re sometimes (most of the time) in a rush, therefore not giving our children the important and necessary time to do things for themselves – empowering them! By empowering children at a young age, we can help them become confident and independent learners.

In my preschool class, we’re fortunate to have the time, not to be in a rush. It doesn’t matter how long it takes a child to do something, the important part is that they do it for themselves (or at least give it a good try). In a child’s early years simple decisions and actions can be greatly empowering; putting on their jacket or shoes, choosing what they want for snack or what colour to paint with. It’s vital to allow children to make choices and explore their environment, ensuring that they learn how to overcome disappointment and learn from their mistakes.

The act of empowering a child is not only supporting and encouraging them to believe in their abilities, but also to give them plenty of opportunities to feel powerful about what they can accomplish. I find the best way to do this, is by giving a child the time to do things for themselves.

My top 3 easy ways to empower young children:
Putting on their own Shoes and Jacket:
There’s no better way for a child to feel empowered, then by achieving something for themselves.  Putting on their own shoes and jacket, can be the first big achievements that they recognise and can feel proud of!

Deciding between 2 choices:
Simple things, like what t-shirt they want to wear, milk or water at snack time or whether they want to play inside or outside. Allowing your child to make decisions for themselves, improves their self confidence and allows them to feel empowered.

“Have a try and then I’ll help!”:
The word can’t seems to be developing earlier and earlier in a child’s vocabulary these days. I always encourage my children not to say “I can’t “, but “I’ve had a try. Can you please help me now?” Don’t underestimate giving a child an extra 30 seconds to work things out for themselves, it’s important for their development, growth and confidences.

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