‘Here’s your hat. And your scarf.’
These words could be part of the ‘Mum Song’ lyric. Anita Renfroe’s Supermum runs round doing everything for this child. She gives her her clothes and her shoes – and presumably everything else. Imagine this same child on her first day at school.
Where’s Mummy? Teacher’s asking me a question.
I don’t know what I should say. And I’m so hungry.
Mummy’s not here to open my lunch box.
Everybody else is eating sandwiches.
I can’t open this. I can’t open my lunchbox.
I’m so hungry. And I want to pee.
Hold my legs tight together.
I can’t go by myself.
I want to pee so bad.
Doing everything for your child does not equal loving your child. Love is about helping your child to develop her own competence. Observe your own actions. And your child’s. What are the things that your child could be learning to do for herself? Being a coaching parent is not about throwing your child in at the deep end. It’s day by day gentle support towards competence. What could happen if you choose to support your child to do as much as possible for herself?
Is there a difference between a child being competent and a child being independent?
Thank you for your question. When children are guided to do things for themselves they become more competent (able to do things). As they become more competent this raises their level of confidence and they develop more independence. So competence and independence are closely linked – but independence is a result of competence. Jesper Juul’s book “Your Competent Child” (Amazon link) is a great read on this topic.
I found this link to an article of his.