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Children are joy, innocence, learning ... but also spontaneity. What is a child if it is not spontaneous. In this boring and gray world that we adults have built, there is very little room for spontaneity (how scary if we let spontaneity enter our lives!). And we try to clip the wings of our children, lest they infect us with something ... We do it with gestures that many times we are not even aware of: we tell them what color to paint the trees and with what paint from their case, we read them a story without even asking them what story they want to hear, we tell them how they should choose clothes ...
But what is wrong with our children experiencing, believing and enjoying? What's wrong with building their own personality and making their own decisions? Obviously, there are certain choices that are made by parents (regarding their diet, their health, their well-being ...). But what would happen if we gave in in other areas? What would happen, for example, if we let them dress how they want? This has been precisely the experiment of a mother who, every morning, lets her 2-year-old daughter choose her clothes.
"My daughter, Evangeline, was barely 2 years old when she started dressing herself. Most mornings I had to dedicate myself to convince her to wear the outfit I had chosen for her, instead of the loose fitting and 'multi-patterned' clothes that she preferred. After many frustrating mornings, I gave up. "Surely more than one parent identifies with the scene that Karis Carlson herself describes for Parents magazine.
And it is that if to the morning fights to wake up and have breakfast on time you have to add an anger about the clothes that the child is going to go to school with ... Since her daughter chooses what clothes she wants to wear, she tells this Mother, mornings are a little easier at home. You simply let yourself be surprised by the fun outfit your daughter creates for each day.
"I have come to realize that her (clothing) choices are a representation of her personality and by trying to force her into a mold that is not made for her, was stifling her creativity and preventing her from expressing herself"After all, is the world going to end if a girl wears a red checkered shirt and red dotted pants?
This mother admits that this experiment has changed the way she imagined her motherhood would be, with a girl perfectly matched with very fashionable models. "But now my daughter goes anywhere dressed in whatever clothes make her happy. She dresses in something that she loves and I can enjoy her unique personality. I have learned to appreciate that even though she hardly ever manages to dress together , always get to be 100% Evangeline".
There are many ways to allow children to find their personality. It's about letting them express themselves as they are, letting them imagine a thousand and one characters until they find the one they want to be, it's about giving them love and being supportive. We propose some ideas:
1. Let them make some decisions
As children get older, they can make some decisions. Parents should let them take responsibility for certain tasks and decide little things. In this way, they will know that we take them into account and, therefore, they will feel more confident about themselves, and we will promote their autonomy. They will realize that they have the freedom to express themselves as they are.
A good way for children to make decisions little by little is to let them choose between two closed options. For example, "Do you want green beans or chard to eat?" "Do you want to wear the red skirt or the green pants?"
2. Listen to them without judging them
It is essential that children feel that their parents listen to them and, above all, that they do not judge or label them for what they are saying. Using non-affective language with your children can make them understand that it is not okay for them to be that way, which will lead them to hide their personality. Sometimes the smallest words have the biggest consequences for children.
3. Propose creative activities without limits
Why do we always have to tell children what to draw? Why should they limit themselves to coloring ready-made pictures? Give them a blank page and let their imaginations run wild. You would be surprised how much his drawings can talk about how the child feels and how he sees himself.
You can also encourage them to make up stories, but don't tell them how long the story should be or what characters there should be, or if it should have a happy or sad ending ... Let the children have the freedom to create the world they want.
Propose games that promote empathy, that allow them to put themselves in the shoes of others. For example, organize a puppet theater in which the child acts out characters with different personalities.
4. Give them affection and love
Only when children feel in a safe and loving space can they develop their personality without restriction. Educating in love is the key for children to grow up happy.
You can read more articles similar to The experiment of a mother who lets her 2-year-old daughter choose clothes, in the category of on-site autonomy.