Anything you can do, I can do too!

I have found that with my daughter MJ, a good way to help her build her self-esteem is by using the hand over hand technique and tons of encouragement. To use the hand over hand technique, the person teaching a skill places their hand over a student's hand and directs the child's hand with their own. Hand over hand prompting can teach children how to perform important skills such as eating, brushing hair, tying their shoes, or writing their name.

This is especially important for milestones. Every baby is different. I am going to talk about how I guided my child into building self-esteem. I am by no means a professional and am by no means telling you what to do with your baby. There are professional therapists to help guide parents on how to do this with their children.

There are times where MJ gets upset or stressed when doing tasks by herself. I would first ask if she needs help. Once I get a head nod, I use the hand to hand technique to guide her to the completion of her task. MJ understands English and can respond in actions; however, we have not been able to have MJ literally ask for what she wants. She's only 2 years old and I wouldn't pressure her to do anything at my pace, I am ok with following her lead (within reason). There are times that I don’t use hand-over-hand techniques for her. An example of this is when I see that she has a range of control over what is going on such as brushing her hair. I may jump in to assist here and there, but that's only to help fine tune it. For example MJ grabs an object like a hair brush and wants to brush my hair or her own hair. That is when I know she has the confidence to do things by herself without my assistance. 

Confidence in herself is key and it is definitely best to encourage it. Fine motor skills are sometimes different, especially with MJ. An example is opening a water bottle cap; it’s a little harder to twist for her. I will go back to hand over hand and give her a little bit of support so that she can know that I am there to help her. Everytime, I start to do less and less which teaches her independence. Overall, I basically give her the space to make a mess and explore.

 

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