Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Apr 14, 2012

It is better to let the children figure out themselves

Filed under: Parenting 101 — admin @ 1:00 am

My sister told me her son used to ask her about his math problem. Sometimes, the boy understood it but still needed his mother’s confirmation. It sounds like he needs more confidence in his own ability. This reminds me of an incident when my son was about three years old.

When he was small, I used to buy lego toy for him, big block at first. I could see he was trying to piece two together. If one side was not working, he turned and tried the other side. After some twisting, he finally plugged one block on another. He was happy figuring out by himself.

Around age three, I started buying small size lego, which was more challenging. At first, I showed him examples by piecing them together to make a car or a house. He was sitting there watching me and would not trying making something by himself.

What happened was he thought he could not make something as I did or could not make as well as I did, so he would rather have me build and then he would play with what I built.

When I looked back, I realized a trap that parents are likely to fall  into. On the one hand, parents want to help their children; on the other hand, if they help too much, it is very easy to overwhelm the children with parents’ ability, which can potentially defeat the child’s desire to try or damage their confidence in themselves.

It’s better to leave children alone and let them figure out how to play. Sometimes, by doing too much for the children in the name of love, the parents accidentally deprive the children of the opportunity to play and learn and to build their confidence in doing things by themselves.

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