Leadership Parenting

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Let Them Grow Up!

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Written by Denise Rohrer

Categories: Food/Eating Issues

Comments: 0

I would like to share with you a brief story that happened to me, as a teacher, not long ago.

One of my students - all 4 year olds - suprised me on the first day of classes. During lunch time he would only stare at the plate and not move a muscle.

Intrigued by that picture, I approached him and said, “It’s time to eat.” Well, this child opened wide his mouth and went “Ahhh.” Only did I realize he was waiting to be fed. I would like to make clear that a four-year-old child is expected to feed himself.

Later on, when his mother arrived to pick him up, I talked to her about what had happened. Not to my surprise, she said he was used to being fed while watching cartoons on his tablet. I quickly explained to her that he should be feeding himself at his age. At that point, a battle was started. His mother started asking the school for the teachers to feed him.

While being fed in front of his tablet, he developed absolutely no autonomy at all. He was not aware of his body’s need as his brain was paying attention to something else all the time (Slowing down and savoring your food can help you control your intake).

Besides that, he was not exercising his fine motor skills. No coordination between eyes, hands, and mouth was being developed in the process either.

There's no point in doing to our kids what they are absolutely able to do on their own. We only encourage autonomy if we give the children room for them to grow up.

Let’s keep in mind that increasing our child's autonomy impacts parents' lives as well. Everyone profits from it. Children develop at different paces, but the sensitive look towards what they can already accomplish is yours. Be aware of it!

Denise Rohrer
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach

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