Natural development is attained through successive levels of independence at this age. Independence means not needing the unnecessary help from another person to do what you need to get done. "Help me do it myself" is the need that comes from within the child.
Independence is a conquest; one must acquire it physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Freedom can be attained with independence with discipline and responsibility. The more the child can explore his environment with confidence, the more he can master developmental tasks and establish new skills which help to support his widening sense of independence. In order to achieve independence, an individual must work towards the fulfillment of his own potential. A person must be able to realistically judge his own abilities and limitations and become truly free within the community to which he belongs. With the material inside the classroom, there is opportunity with freedom, with limitations, of course. Cooperation with other members of the child’s community (adults and children), respect their need for independence is also very important to develop.
In the ages 0-3 years, the child has an unconscious absorbent mind, whereas 3-6 years-olds have a conscious absorbent mind. During his sensitive periods, the formation of his ego begins at this time as well as the creation of his mental faculties such as memory, order, will, reason, intellectual thought, and mental structure. You may notice the child asks a lot of “what” questions. When answering the child a lot of vocabulary should be used to broaden his horizons to new words. What the child sees is what he believes as imagination does not exist at this age just yet. If is not right in front of him he will not see it in his mind or understand it.
How can You Help at Home?
To help the development of independence in each child is our job as adults and parents. Trusting that your child can do it by him/herself is key. Take the time to make time for the challenges that can come across like putting on his/her own shoes, pulling up their own pants, putting their own toys away, etc. Be conscious not to "hover" by being patient and pointing out what they did correctly or with intent and purpose rather then what they missed or did wrong. This is vital to their continued success and motivation. Through our consistency, we help our child be more independent every day.