As a parent it is only natural to want what we think is best for our child. We’ve all heard the term helicopter parenting, a name given to mums and dads who constantly ‘hover’ over their child. So when it comes to learning, how much should we control, and how much should we let a child discover for themselves?
Regardless of your child’s age, the toddler’s cry of “me do” should always ring true. Providing opportunities for a child to learn an activity for themselves let them fail, try again, and eventually succeed.
Whether it’s feeding themselves, or simply interacting with their peers, through constant practice children work through their frustrations and develop problem solving skills. This in turn creates well-balanced children who understand the values of self-esteem, independence, and confidence.
At kindergarten, learning is child initiated, supported by the teacher. The Ministry of Education’s early childhood curriculum Te Whâriki empowers children to learn with inspiration coming from their environment, planned and spontaneous interactions. Activities are extended through children’s individual interests and ideas.
From process cooking, and free play with their friends, to helping in the kindergarten garden or constructing a sand castle - young children learn to adapt to different situations through communication and negotiation. Expressing their needs or impatience with each other, also develops their social skills and empathy.
At home when we see our child showing despair over a task it’s quick to want to step in. Although it may seem scary at first, research tell us that we need to offer hands-off guidance. We do of course recommend that you minimise the risk of harm, but as long as they aren’t in danger - try counting to ten before answering your child’s cry of “help me” or “I can’t”. You’ll soon discover there’s nothing more satisfying than witnessing your offspring step out of their comfort zone and do something for themselves.