Hey, I can do it myself!

Hey, I can do it myself!

Have you ever watched your child struggle to do something simple, like put a ball in a hole or fasten a button? They go at it with such determination, refusing to quit. And if you offer to help, they give you that unmistakable death stare. Why? Because they're learning. Kids are naturally programmed to keep trying until they get it right. But if we step in too much, they might start to think it's easier to let someone else do it.


Around 18 months, children start standing up and moving on their own, and that's when they begin to assert their desire to do things by themselves. Suddenly, they want to try everything on their own. When they were babies, they might have been interested but couldn't quite reach those things. Now that they can move around and touch what interests them, their desire to try things out really takes off.

So, what does the phrase "I want to do it myself!" mean for children? It means they want to learn. This is a period of intense learning and growth. During this phase, kids develop a strong sense of competence and are full of confidence that they can do anything by themselves.

Create More Time

Kids need time to practice everyday skills, like putting on their shoes or buttoning up a shirt. The only way they're going to get better and quicker at it is by practicing. So, take a look at your routine and see what tweaks you can make to give your child some extra time to do these tasks.

Try aiming to leave the house 10 minutes earlier, so you're not in a crazy rush. Think about what you could prepare the night before to give you a bit more wiggle room in the morning. It might seem like extra effort, but think of it as an investment in your child's independence and confidence.

Don't Interrupt

When you see your child deeply engrossed in something, resist the urge to speak to them, help them, or butt in. Interrupting breaks their concentration and disrupts their brainwaves as they work hard to figure things out. It takes practice to get this down since our natural instinct is to talk to a child who is concentrating, but this might be the toughest one to master. However, the rewards are worth it.

When children are trying hard, let's leave them alone. Just like adults, they don't want to be interrupted when they're focused. It's enough to watch over them and think, “You're doing your best in your own way.”

Check out MARLMARL's own M-A-R-L white t-shirts. It comes in 3 sizes and is the water-, oil-, and stain-resistant. All of these shirts have the phrase "Hey, I can do it myself!" printed inside for the wearer themselves.

Praise to Encourage

For parents, it might seem a bit troublesome at times, but fostering a sense of competence during early childhood leads to a strong sense of self-worth later on. It's important to understand that this is a very important phase.

That said, there will be times when, no matter how attentive you are, tantrums don't subside. What matters most is that your child feels that mom and dad were attentive and listened to them, making them feel understood. Feeling like “It's okay if things don't go well” and “I'm great just the way I am” are at the core of self-esteem and other essential life skills. If children can hold onto these feelings, they will become a powerful source of strength throughout their lives.

Help Your Child Do It By Themselves

Watching your child grow and strive for independence is a beautiful journey. By creating more time, avoiding interruptions, and offering praise, you're helping them build a strong foundation of self-confidence and resilience. Remember, each small step they take on their own is a giant leap towards becoming capable and self-assured individuals. Embrace this phase and cherish these moments, as they lay the groundwork for a bright and confident future.

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