Isn't it revealing how the phrase "by myself" can evoke such extreme, contradictory emotions in our little ones? There is, of course, the pride of achievement and self-sufficiency. But there is also the scary feeling of being all alone.
"I do it by myself!" your two-year-old will insist, teetering up a steep set of stairs while you shadow her from behind, every step of the way.
"Don't leave me by myself!" your four-year-old might cry about being alone in the dark -- the same child who has been sleeping on his own for years.
That kind of push and pull, it seems, is at the heart of every great love story. And parenting is nothing if not an amazing love story.
Yet we are in the business of teaching these much adored little ones everything they need to know in order to leave us, one day. We hope they'll take with them the confidence and sense of self they've been gaining all along. And we'll want them to know that we're still with them, every step of the way.
Along those lines, we want to mention a few ways to give a child that great "I did it myself" boost, without the worry of feeling "all by myself." There are so many amazing new design ideas for children these days -- enough to make your head spin. But today we are more of a mind to praise a few simple objects that help children to feel more sure of themselves: nightlights to give them see-in-the-dark eyes; step stools to make them taller; child-level coat racks and cubbies so they can know where to find things, and put them away too.
These most commonplace objects help children help themselves -- and that's just the kind of help we want to give them. Tell us, what little things help your kids do things by themselves?
We at The Savvy Source are devotees of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. Gretchen manages to weave comments on parenting seamlessly into the rest of her musings on how to be happy, and she somehow pulls off being smart, down-to-earth, inspir... read more
The car is packed, the suitcases are spilling over with maps and sunscreen and coloring books and bikinis, and you, at long last, are well on your way to enjoying the vacation of a lifetime. The kids, of course, are very excited, and eager to engage ... read more