Is your child clingy? Shy or insecure? It’s upsetting for you to see your child struggle to let go of your hand in social situations and it’s also upsetting for them. Even the smallest of children can experience the worry of social anxiety or of general shyness. It’s also a very natural thing for children to go through – some just get stuck in the phase for longer than others. If you’d like to help your child to do more for themselves without your support, there are lots of ways in which to begin helping them.
What can a child do alone?
This is an interesting question – some children are fiercely independent and capable from a very young age. Three-year-olds don’t all want to dress themselves, but some can not only do it well but insist on it. Others might struggle with the idea of buttons and zips and need help. It’s ok to help but as they approach kindergarten or school age, some independence is important so that they feel comfortable being away from you for longer periods. Some of the things your child might benefit from learning are as follows:
- Buttons and zips
- Taking off and putting on shoes
- Wiping their own face after eating and drinking
- Blowing their nose cleanly
- Cleaning themselves after visiting the toilet
- Asking adults for help
This last one is interesting. We might think that asking for help is an easy thing to do. But for a shy child it’s not easy at all! This is because it shows the child is vulnerable and it also means that the adult is going to have to talk to them and perhaps help them.
Practice all of the self-care activities mentioned above so that your child can manage their own bodies when they’re out at school or kindergarten. Remember, some children find these things easier than others – practice makes perfect!
Helping your child learn to ask for assistance is as easy as encouraging them to have short interactions with adults when you’re out and about. At the shops, encourage a please and a thank you. Let your child hand over the money to the cashier and also to say good morning to people you know such as neighbours or local business owners.
These small steps can really help your child to feel a sense of themselves and their own confidence. As this prep school in Buckinghamshire believes, helping children to manage their emotions and self-confidence is the best way to help them grow in independence. As they grow, they’ll take more steps towards complete independence. Remember to tell them how well they’re doing too!
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