Saturday, September 10, 2011

Changing the Rules

Independence is something all children achieve in time. Or so we hope. From taking those first unassisted steps to moving into their own homes, there are so many levels a person goes through in the course of life.

Recently I've discovered that I need to adjust to allow Little A more independence. But how does one transition from "No" to "Yes" gracefully, without seeming self-contradictory or having to offer long-winded explanations?

Some things are still at the NEVER level: touching the stovetop, iron and open flame, crossing the street, going out the front door or getting into an elevator alone, climbing out of a wet bathtub and onto the highest level of the playground slide without a safety barrier.

Others need to move to the CAREFULLY level though: stepping on and off escalators accompanied (but not necessarily holding hands), pouring glasses of water, using the toilet unaccompanied.

Apart from using the "Now you are bigger, you can try this by yourself" line, what other ways are there to take children to the next level of independence? I'd appreciate any suggestions.

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