Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Let Them "Do It By Myself"

All summer, Bunny considered climbing the big hill we call Two Tree Mountain.  Each attempt was met with a call for help.  We will help a child down if they get scared or stuck.  We will NOT help a child up the hill.  We do this for several reasons.

One-- A child will seldom truly succeed at something (be it walking or hill climbing) if they are "helped" before they are ready.  It may actually delay their success.  Until a child is developmentally ready, it is better to allow them to practice at their own speed.

Another reason is that studies and real life experiences show that a child helped to do something that they are not physically ready to do is put in danger.  They "think" they are able to do it on their own and can often be hurt when they step out in false confidence.  An example would be a child who has been helped to walk down stairs will often just step off the stairs, without an adult, because they "think" they can actually do it by themselves. Much better to teach them to slide down on bottoms or crawl down the stairs backwards until the time comes that THEY can walk down the stairs using the rail .. all on their own. 

Lastly, the pride and self confidence that comes from actually accomplishing a feat "all by myself" is so worth the wait.  A child knows when they have mastered a skill as opposed to mama or papa doing it for them. It is a beautiful, exciting moment when they do it on their own!

Off the "two year olds" go to attempt to climb Two Tree Mountain! In this case one little boy was already a pro at the mountain and the other two had tried many times, but always backed down before reaching the top.

At this point (about half way up) Bunny asked for help UP. 
We tell her we will come help her down, but we can't help her up the hill.
She sits a bit to think this over! 

While she is thinking it over, the two little boys complete the climb and then slide down. 
We congratulate them and enjoy their smiling faces!

After a little time, Bunny decides to try to climb the mountain!
From below, we verbally encourage her.
And take pictures!

Yeah!! She made it! "All by myself"!!
The reward... along with pride & self confidence...
is getting to slide down "Two Tree Mountain Mudslide"!

Allowing a child the freedom to try and succeed at "big things" helps them grow in so many ways!!

Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed. ~ Maria Montessori

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  1. Congratulation Bunny! Well done!

  2. What a wonderful literation of the learning process for the little ones. And what great pictures of Bunny's success- well done!

  3. What a great reminder! Thanks for linking to Waldorf Wednesday.

  4. Fantastic article! I totally agree with you. Little kiddos have so few choices in life so allowing them to have the chance to do it themselves is so important. Thanks for this great post!

  5. Great piece and a great reminder. Makes me miss living in a rural area!

  6. Finally catching up with your blog. Love this one--good job, Bunny!

  7. Awww, so sweet! I found you through the Mommy Brain Mixer and I'm your newest follower! I look forward to your future posts!!


  8. Great reminder I never thought about it that way!

  9. Thanks for commenting on my post and linking me back to this fantastic example of allowing children to solve their own problems! Absolutely wonderful... thanks for sharing!

  10. Awesome! What a brave girl. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

  11. Yes Yes Yes your post hits the nail on the head. You help them down, but you let them get up by themselves. That is exactly what I practice with Goblin and as a result he is so adventurous and is often able to get down on his own because he knows how he got up. If he can't get up on his won then he isn't ready. Great post. thanks for sharing it on the Sunday Parenting Party, I'm sharing this on our pinterest board

  12. you have been featured on the Sunday Parenting Party at Taming the Goblin, please stop by and grab a featured button from my button page if you'd like one.