Life Lessons Series: Empowering is Better than Deflating

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Autonomy (noun) as the state of existing or acting separately from others; the power or right of a country, group, etc., to govern itself.

A second way to expand your child’s world is to help them find their own sense of pride in their autonomy. Empower.  Helping children become more autonomous takes more of your time and guidance up front, but it makes them shine brighter!

Sure, you may have extra spills, have to listen more carefully to their desires, and need to put your own agenda on the back-burner a little, but your child will more likely grow up to be more capable and competent individuals.  Need to read more about the benefits?  Click here.

Life lesson: “[Name], do [task] or mommy’s going to help you. 1. 2. 3.”  Normally I don’t have to count to 3.

I just shared a sentence I use multiple times throughout the day with my toddler.  I don’t resort to spanking.  My next level of discipline is to show him how to do the task at hand.  If he shares an emotion (starts having a tantrum, shows an attitude) I address his emotion too, but I help him complete the task.  Don’t we all want to be able to do things on our own?

10 reasons I love this sentence “Do it or mommy’s going to help you”:

  1. My toddler has the choice to complete a task on his own first.
  2. My toddler proves he can successfully do the task – he proves it to himself, and he proves it to me.
  3. My toddler prefers to do things on his own, in his own way – why impose my way when he watches how I do it anyway.  ‘My way’ of doing a particular task is not ‘the point’ to him.  He often tests theories he’s come up with on his own.  Does he tell me he has theories?  Duh, no (grin).  I just observe him employing various methods on his own.  Sometimes, he says ‘Mommy help’, or comes to get me for my help.  That’s my invitation to help him.
  4. My toddler has so many additional learning opportunities through the day because I try not to step in and take over.
  5. My toddler still doesn’t escape ‘essential tasks’ – these are the tasks we must do regardless of our circumstance.  For example, if he spills milk, he needs to clean it up.  If he hits a friend, he needs to say sorry and offer a hug.
  6. I am more conscious of my toddler’s interests
  7. I am aware of my toddler’s attention span and distractions
  8. I have become better at understanding my toddler’s verbal and non-verbal cues
  9. we address the attitudes of our hearts during this process
  10. I’ve read character is built in children by the age of 5, so I’m doing as much as possible to build his character now.  Being confident, capable, considerate, making your own choices, and willing to correct your mistakes are essential components.

What are some areas you can help empower your children more?  What are some other character lessons you teach your children?

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2 thoughts on “Life Lessons Series: Empowering is Better than Deflating

  1. Great post as always Robyn! Just wanted to share that for my kids, saying mommy will do it for you is no threat at all. LOL What I do instead is if my kids ask me to do something, I’ll tell them they can do that for themselves. If they refuse, then it doesn’t get done.

    Love that you encourage him to try and try again! That is the most important part.

    • Hi J! Thanks! I’m sure other moms are relieved that you shared your kids don’t react to this small ‘threat’. I think when my son is older, he’ll look at me and say ‘awesome, I’d rather you do it, Mom!’. I like the way you handle your kids asking you for things :). What do you do if your kids won’t do something you really need them to do? How do you handle that?

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