Early years children are innately curious and constantly taking in new information like a sponge. They are in the process of developing their sense of self, their preferences, and their relationships with others, in addition to building up basic motor and mental skills. The world is full of exciting, new experiences and they want to explore, but—they still need help.
As the parent of a child attending a kindergarten in Bangkok, you want your child to develop their own abilities as best they can and feel like they can operate independently as much as possible. On the other hand, you are also acutely aware of how much help your child needs to do basic tasks and stay safe, so it is tempting to offer help or even do tasks for them.
Finding the perfect balance between supporting your child where they need you to and encouraging independence can be extremely challenging. Developing a healthy level of independence is important as it helps to increase your child’s self-esteem and gives them more confidence when trying new activities.
Kindergarten school teachers in Bangkok certainly know some useful exercises and practices that can help to boost students’ independence levels. This article will summarise some of these approaches and explain how you can use them at home to support your child’s independence outside of the classroom as well.
Give Them Enough Time
One of the best ways to help kindergarten children learn to be more independent is to give them opportunities to practice independence for short periods of time. It’s important to remember that small children need to ease into new activities, and completing tasks will take time at first.
At a kindergarten in Bangkok, teachers plan extra time for new activities, to ensure that students have enough time to learn how to do it and so that they can complete the task. This is a great practice for use at home too. These opportunities can be small tasks, like helping to put dishes in the sink after eating, or combing their own hair.
Since these tasks will take longer for your child to do themself, plan extra time for this activity, so that they don’t feel rushed while doing it. Leaving enough time for an activity will give them confidence knowing that they can complete the task, and as they continue to do it they will be able to do it faster in the future.
Praise, Not Perfection
Another key element to building up a child’s confidence is providing them with positive verbal feedback. At Bangkok kindergartens, teachers know that celebrating any small victory is highly important for students at this age and it is normal for them to make mistakes in the process of learning.
Approaching a task with the perspective that it is okay to mess up or to fail is incredibly important for children to know that it is alright to try new activities and explore. For example, learning to put on their own shoes will take many failed attempts before they get it right. If your child is learning this skill, they need time to practice and they need encouragement to know that their effort is commendable.
Let them know that it is great they are trying and they are getting closer to putting their shoes on every day. Giving children praise when they succeed will help them to focus on accomplishments and learn to be proud of what they do. A focus on perfection, however, can make young children more fearful of getting it wrong, leading them to not try to do anything on their own.
Right Environment to Learn
There are many external factors that can also affect a kindergarten student’s ability to learn, including stress, emotional state, tiredness and overstimulation. If a child has already had a busy day, they may not be able to focus on learning a new responsibility.
It is for this reason that international kindergartens in Bangkok won’t teach any new skills on activity days or exam week, because they know children won’t be able to focus and retain new information. Sometimes when your child is experiencing a high level of stimulation or stress it can be best to take a break from teaching new skills.
Promote Problem Solving
Young minds are not able to jump into lots of complex tasks at once or focus on too many activities. They need to break them down into manageable steps and take the time to learn the most simplified version of a task first.
Taking the time to let them move through a task a little at a time will give them space to learn it well and even begin to teach themselves some new skills. Additionally, children can develop a great sense of problem solving and reasoning skills when given the opportunity to brainstorm solutions.
This is encouraged in kindergarten classrooms in Bangkok, but it can be done conversationally by parents at home as well. If your child comes up with a problem, ask them how they think they might be able to solve it and give them time to consider different options.
Building Independence For Your Child
Supporting your child and building confidence to complete tasks independently is a process that requires patience and understanding. The joy and excitement that your child will feel each time they successfully complete an activity by themselves, however, is well worth the effort and will serve them well as they grow older.
If you are raising a preschool or kindergarten aged child and are looking for a great Bangkok international school that knows how to support their growth and development, Raintree International Kindergarten has all the training and education necessary to help your child build the confidence of a lifelong learner. Contact us today to learn more about our exciting educational programmes and Reggio-inspired teaching philosophy.