Sometime, Help will not really help

“If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.” – Abigail Van Buren-

Well, Help will not help.. of course SOMETIME, NOT ALWAYS 🙂

Every parent has their own way in educating their children. As for me, I will not always help my kids in doing their things. Few examples are below.

Since they aged 2.5 year old, we have started to ask them to learn how to wear their own clothes. Do you thing it is too early for this age? Some people told me it is too early for them, but my answer is no, it is not too early. There is nothing wrong to let them learn.. Since they can do it them selves why do we have to always help them?

One day, we visited one of our relatives for their son’s birthday. Once we reached their place, we realized that JJ was sweating and I gave him his clothes and asked him to changed his clothes him self. And our auntie looked surprise and asked us how come JJ can changed and wore his own clothes. JJ was around 3 years old that time.

It also applied to TT, when he was 2.5 years old we also had already trained him to wear his own clothes. Well, we purposely involved JJ in teaching TT to learn to wear his own shirts. When TT struggle and cannot wear it him self, he will always ask my help, but I will always ask him to try it him self. Knowing that he cannot get any help from me, he will approach his brother, and JJ always help his brother. I told JJ not to always help TT when TT faces any difficulties. I tell JJ to let TT try to face it him self first, and once we think that he really cannot do it, we can help him then. Well, finally TT can do it him self until now. And somehow they make it fun and challenge each others who will be the faster in wearing their own clothes. Win or lose, doesn’t matter… The one who lose, will say “Learn from your failure” 😀

Well it might not be that neat, but at least they learn something that they can do it them selves, not always depending on others. And at the end, I will help tidy up the clothes that they wear.

On JJ’s third years birthday, my mom brought him airplane Lego which should be for 7-12 years old. His daddy made for him. And well, it was always broken a part by TT as he was only 1 year plus that time. We decided to keep it for the time being because they were still too young to play it. Few months ago, we decided to open it for him as he asked for it and claimed that he can do it now. Firstly, his daddy helped him and guided him using the book. When it broke apart again, he asked his daddy to make it for him again and his daddy asked him to try it him self. Well, he was not confidence enough but we encouraged him to try first. Finally JJ (5 years old) can do it him self thought it is not perfect. And he was so happy with the result.

When JJ started to read (4 years old) he will read what ever words that he sees in the road. Sometime he will ask me, “Ma, how to read this?” I will not just read for him. I will always ask him to spell it him self and of course when he makes some mistakes on the spelling or reading, I will help him.

By doing this we will encourage them to not giving up easily, always try, and also make them independent.

Sometime by helping them, we are not helping them. By not helping them, we have already helped them.

                             “Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.”
                                                               -Robert A. Heinlein-



  1. Hi Yulia

    I believe in helping children when they are too overwhelmed to do it themselves. Children need us to be the bigger, stronger, wiser, and kinder person, to role model that so they can learn to be the same.

    In early childhood studies, it is called scaffolding (Vygotsky). We encourage and support the children, Not urging them too soon to do something they are developmentally unable to do. But learning to do things within in social and language rich environment.

    Your family is so full of love, that your children have a lot of confidence within a caring environment. The problem I see in the West, is parents being very dismissive of young children’s emotional and physical needs. The children become more demanding and needy when their basic needs are not met. I wrote about it here

  2. Hi Narelle, Thank you for the input here. I agree that we always need to pay more attention to what our kids need. As I said that even though that my kids can wear their clothes by them selves, still sometime I still help them when it is mess… at least we still show them that we still care about them. I read your posting and yes, some kids will do something to get their parents’ attention, though may be they already can do something by them selves, they will still ask us to help them. My kids also do the same.. sometime they will still ask me to help them to wear their clothes, and I will help half of it and asked them to finish it. But Not Always 😉
    And if we do encourage them, they will be proud when they can finish the task that they need to do by them selves and it will build their confidence even more..

    I love your posting 🙂 Thank you Narelle

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