As parents, some of the best gifts we can give our children is one of capability, self-reliance and self-confidence. We often have huge expectations of our children, but we often sabotage them with pampering.

The most successful people in life have skills that they developed. Sometimes, parents are filled with anxiety and they don’t give their children a chance to practise and learn.

Do your child a favour when he/she says: “I can’t”, tell him/her that you believe they can and then go-ahead to break down the steps.

Have you ever wondered why children sometimes shy away from tasks even when they can do that task?

We often assume that all we have to do is teach our children how to perform a task and they will get it right after two or three tries. Sorry to burst your bubble but it does not work that way in reality.

No matter how skilled your child gets in performing a task, children easily get overwhelmed. That small pile of clothes is like a mountain to your kid and children may get tired before they even start when faced with so much to do at once.

So, how do we deal with this?

The answer lies in taking small steps. “Small Steps” is a Positive Discipline tool that proposes breaking down tasks to small bits so that a child will learn the workflow, tackle the task in bits and not get overwhelmed.

Children can only process so many things at once, their minds wander and they have their own important stuff (like play) running through their minds. It is only fair to them that they should not be burdened with too many things at once

Teaching kids how to break down a task that seems to be overwhelming into manageable chunks is a great life skill that will help them in other aspects of their lives.

When you take the time to train them and you teach them to take small steps, you are setting them up for success. This will boost their capability and teach them how to prioritise and do what is important first. It will also teach them responsibility and how to effectively manage their life as adults.

For instance, you want to teach your child how to clean up after playing. You may break up the tasks in lots of ways. You can tell him to put away the books first, then the toy cars or dolls, then the chairs and so on.

Let us admit it. Work is best done in small chunks and multi-tasking often creates a less than impressive outcome.

It is also important to know that tasks should be age appropriate. Give only 1 small task to a toddler and give more responsibilities as they get older.

Small Steps also work for teaching your child basic things like brushing their teeth, cleaning up after using the toilet etc. It is also useful for important things like learning a surah one ayah after the other or when teaching them how to perform salat.

In a nutshell, stop doing things for your child and boost their self-confidence and skills by teaching them in small steps.

As Dr Jane Nelson said “Encouraging a child who believes that he or she is inadequate requires a great deal of patience, gentle perseverance, and faith in the child’s abilities”.

I hope you have learnt something. If yes, would you like to join me in the Parenting for Jannah Academy? You should join the waitlist HERE to be notified when next we are open.