Autonomy’s Independence Essay

852 words - 3 pages

A toddler is on a mission for independence. When children are at the toddler age they start to develop behaviors of saying no, exploring, and learning self-help skills. These skills deal with the want of power and control in their lives. Toddlers need to feel this power and control in their environments. As an educator, you can facilitate that independence. Having a developmentally appropriate environment, encouragement of self-help skills to reinforce independence, giving choices throughout the day to make a child feel independent, providing control for the students in your classroom, set limits, and have a community resource to assist parents are all ways in which to help your students feel independent. The question is how to do all this as an educator.
Toddlers developing autonomy starts with saying no. Not physically saying the word but using body language. Moving the head away from incoming food and closing the mouth is a clear statement of no without saying a word. This is the moment when the child asserts their independence. By age two the child is more rebellious and stubborn about nearly everything. This behavior paves the way for terrible twos. Although, this can be a frustrating time for parents and caregivers it is important to note that learning to say no is a fundamental skill. When children enter the no stage giving choices throughout the day will make a child feel more independent. Giving children choices such as whether to dress themselves or be dressed by a parent. Toddler will gain self-confidence by being able to choose (Hudlemeyer, 2008).
Exploration starts in infancy, grows out of attachment, and increases as children move toward autonomy (Gonzalez-Mena, p. 53). Babies that are excellent explorers start exploring on their own and learn they are skilled and trust in themselves. By allowing babies the freedom to explore, they become confident in their surroundings. So, as an educator you need to support toddlers in having a developmentally appropriate environment while providing control for the students in your classroom and setting limits. The environment that an educator sets up should provide freedom for exploration with few prohibitions. Be keeping a limit on what a child can’t touch, children will learn there are things they can manipulate therefore increasing their exploring world and confidence. Toddlers touch, explore, try things out, and use their bodies to learn about the world (Gonzalez-Mena, p. 62). Play is a way for children to feel powerful and be in control of the worlds they create. After knowing what to not let toddlers do, allow them to explore. Children must be safe, clean, well-fed and well-rested (Hudlemeyer,...

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