When your kid says, ‘Look what I can do!’ be happy because he is shaping a personality on his own. From birth, they practice skills to reach their goals step by step to be a cooperative member of the family and community.
Self-help skills for kids are necessary to manage their own needs. Sometimes parents cheer up the kid to spread wings.
On the other hand, they may think it is too soon for the child to be independent. But remember, parents don’t have to use magic tricks to teach self-help skills to kids.
Mainly it includes simple physical skills such as dressing or bathing and mental skills such as offering help around the house. But encouraging these small steps will be a long run to become a confident and responsible person when they reach adulthood.
So self-help skills for kids are necessary for your child’s future independence. I discuss all the things you should know about kid’s self-help skills in this post.
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What is an example of a self-help skill?
Most children eventually want to try day-to-day tasks on their own. Sometimes, this may end up with a disaster or making it messier.
Still, parents should give the best support for the kids while providing safety because of children’s expertise through errors and experiences.
Meanwhile, your patience and gentle guidance will mean a lot to develop self-help skills for kids.
I’ll mention an example of a self-help skill for kids. Let’s think your child is three years old, and you have noticed he is trying to help you when you make the beds in the morning.
In this incident, you can teach him how to make a bed by showing him how to pull up sheets, folding blankets, and arranging pillows.
Keep in mind that kids are good at identifying fake praises! So don’t appreciate it much after he completes each step. Yes, for the first time, the results will be messier as you expect.
The bed may come with more wrinkles, pillows may not be in order, or sheets may not fold correctly. But never remake the bed in front of your kid. Appreciate him after he finished the task. You can make your bed when he is not around.
This is an excellent example of a self-help skill for kids that can practice easily.
What are self-help skills in early childhood?
Practicing self-help skills within the toddlers helps them to believe in themselves and boost their confidence. Simple self-help skills for kids include attending to their hygienic routes, grooming, etc. Parents, this is a gradual process with extreme patience!
Help children to help themselves
The first self-help skill for kids who are in their early childhood is helping children to help themselves.
This consists of simple steps like climbing stairs as he will discover the joy of climbing. Climbing stairs with you is safe while it provides an opportunity to learn new skills. First, Start by holding their hand.
As they grow more confident, walk behind them. Falling and tripping are natural parts of learning. Help them up and continue!
Toilet training (Kids Potty Chairs)
This can take place at different ages according to their interest. First, help your child to ask for help and speak up when he needs to use toilets. Then teach him how to use a bathroom properly.
Brushing hair and teeth
Brushing teeth every day will help them to boost their hand-eye coordination. You need to finish brushing their teeth but let them do it by themselves first.
Brushing hair is another skill they can learn simply. You can encourage the child to have good hygiene skills from his early childhood.
Why are self-help skills important for kids?
Children that try to do tasks independently are a healthy part of normal child development, and it is essential. These self-help skills for kids are related to basic life tasks.
At different ages, children can do several tasks themselves. This will help them a lot when they grow as adults. Here are some importance of teaching self-help skills for kids.
They can feed themselves
It is common with many parents that their kids refuse to eat food, and you have to chase them but still refuse to eat. It’s not easy to feed a child, but they like and request food whenever they are hungry once they learn.
And also you can teach them how to take foods that are good for them, healthy foods!
They can learn the importance of hygiene and organizing
Healthy kids are always playful, and it is normal to see them dirty during many hours of the day. Also, it’s a disaster when your kid has many toys. It may be exhausting to clean up.
But when you teach your child how to clean that mess, they will do it by themselves. And also you can teach them the importance of hygiene.
When playing with dirt, you can teach them about self-hygiene and how it’s important to clean ourselves and practice them.
They can learn to dress nicely, which will boost their self-esteem
Children do not care what they wear. But as a parent, you can boost their confidence when it comes to self-image building. Make them select the clothes they want to wear.
Dress and giving space to choose their own for a party or to a family gathering help them gain independence and boost their self-esteem through self-awareness.
Making the right choices and actions
You can’t always protect your child from their choices; even they can negatively impact their life. But you can teach them to make the proper selections in their life by practicing these self-help skills for kids.
This can help them grow into healthy individuals and give them the experience and strength to face negative impacts. This will help them a lot when they are growing old.
Essential self-help skills for kids
We can categorize the essential self-help skills for kids into four types as follows;
As the first step of teaching, it is best to teach to feed themselves. This can start by offering finger foods. With time you can give them a spoon and a fork.
And remember to provide enough time to practice. It will be easier to have bowls that can fix the kids’ table, child-sized tools and plastic cups with handles, etc.
Also, encourage children to do it themselves by providing help only when needed. Self-feeding by a kid is always a mess, but it will develop his confidence, strength and manage the hands and fingers of a kid.
Also, self-feeding skills improve the kid’s strength in the back, arms, hands, and eye-hand coordination. So, let children be as independent as possible during mealtimes.
Independent dressing and grooming
Please encourage your child to dress by themselves while providing limited assistance. For example, by teaching them to pull socks, pants, put their arms through sleeves, etc.
Typically, children between 5-6 years of age are nearly independent with cloth wearing. So, help only with difficulty, and they will select appropriate clothing to match the weather or the occasion.
Hygiene and toileting
You can teach hygiene skills by simple practices like teaching them to wash their hands before and after meals and snacks, encouraging them to use the toilet, pull clothing up and down, and wash their hands independently.
As a tip, you can practice a handwashing song to show your child how to wash hands properly.
Also, many play activities can provide practice on cleanliness and hygiene. Such as let your child practice with washable toys, practice with water by filling up small containers and using it for watering plants, etc.
Smelling clean and fresh will build their self-esteem and improve their health by avoiding unnecessary diseases. Make this priority to your and your kid’s daily task list.
Helping with daily chores
There are many simple tasks that your kid can help with around the house. Such as table setting, picking up toys, and cleaning up their plates, while older kids can help make their bed or feed a pet, etc.
It is important to remember this may be unsuccessful in the beginning. It will not be perfect. But remember to praise their efforts.
When children practice this skill around the age of four, they will be more independent as an adult than children who grew up without these experiences.
Ways to encourage self-help skills
What can you do to encourage self-help skills for kids? Here are some simple but effective tips!
Be a good role model
Children are always good at imitating. They do what you do. Try to talk about what you are doing with the kid.
First, you have to do a small step and then ask the child to do it. Not only parents but also elder siblings or relatives can be excellent role models for them.
Please point out the older kid’s actions and ask them to show others how to do what they have already learned, it will encourage the kid.
Use clear steps
Break down tasks into small steps. For this, you can use visual supports such as pictures, gestures to make your directions clear to the child.
Remember to encourage while he is completing the steps. Assist but reduce the amount of help you give. This will help your child to become more confident.
Also, remember to give a “Wait Time” to the kid to recall the steps of the task.
Incorporate self-care skills into the daily routines
Skills become more meaningful if children practice them throughout the day as part of their daily routines. You can use visuals such as picture icons and photos to make it more effective.
Conclusion – Essential Self-help Skills For Kids
Try to trust your child from the beginning. It is amazing just how much a child can do on his own. You have to make sure that your child doesn’t feel pressured. When a child grows up, there are certain essential self-care skills like washing hands, getting dressed, etc.
Whenever your kid tries something new, it’s important to focus on the method he did it, not the result. In the beginning, your child is full of mistakes. It’s your job as a parent to encourage and teach, not necessarily step in and do the task for them.
Giving a chance to practice self-care skills is an essential part of their growth and development. Also, it is an opportunity for children to feel in charge of their bodies and work.
Remember that every child develops at their speed. Give them enough time because it will impact your child’s long-term well-being, happiness, and capabilities by developing confidence.
Remember that learning self-help skills are an essential part of the personal and social development of a child.
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