Learning to Help Myself: How Self-Help Skills Foster Independence in Your Child
Self-help skills are important for any child. By letting your child do more and more for himself, you are, in the short term, fostering his independence and helping him build pride in his accomplishments and master important skills. In the long term, you are preparing him to take care of himself as an adult! As early as one year old, children begin simple self-help skills, feeding themselves finger foods and pulling their arms out of their sleeves when getting undressed. Jump ahead to your four- to five-year-old child. He can now use a spoon and a fork to feed himself, get dressed and undressed on his own (though he may need help with certain buttons or fasteners), comb his hair, brush his teeth, wash his hands, and more. Of course, it will probably still take him longer than you to do things. But with patience, consistence, and positive (though not over-the-top) feedback on your part, your child will master these tasks and soon be able to do more on his own.
Has your child achieved the following Self-Concept developmental milestones yet? If yes, check off all of the skill(s) he has already mastered to date.