My youngest daughter is 6 years old now, and she is nearing the end of Kindergarten. Last week, we got to watch her graduation ceremony. It was fun to watch the way that they do graduations here in Germany, and how they do a ceremony to throw the kids out of the school. Don't worry though, they use a mat to throw them onto. It was a lot of fun.
This year in Kindergarten, she has learned and grown a lot. Going to school all day has helped her learn to speak German, write her name, say the alphabet, and make some new friends. All in all, it has been a great learning experience for her.
Watching our kids grow up is one of those things that we can have love-hate relationships with. On one hand, you want them to stay little and cute forever. On the other hand, you want them to succeed and do the best that they possibly can in life. To do that, they need to grow up and learn how to succeed on their own.
As my daughter is making new friends, she is beginning to have sleepovers for the first time. The first couple of sleepovers, she had at our house. But this last weekend, she slept at a friend's house for the first time.
It was weird having her away from home, she has never been away from us for that long before. We were worried that we would get a call in the middle of the night asking us to pick her up, but she was asleep by 11, and spent the whole night with her friend. The next day they went to Circusland, and had a great time.
Now, she is asking to spend the night at her friend's house again. It is weird thinking that our little clingy girl is wanting to spend time away from home with her friend. Still, it is great that she is making friends and wanting to do things on her own.
At a certain age, kids all want to do things away from their parents, and spend more time with their friends. Then, as they get into middle school and high school, they will be spending more time with their friends than they do at home.
According to Bright Wheel, allowing children to develop autonomy is important because it leads to:
Developed sense of self
Command over their minds and bodies
Critical thinking support
When we allow kids to have some autonomy and do things on their own, it helps them learn and develop important skills. This can help them grow as people, and become more independent. This independence can help them for years to come, as they grow into adults and have to make more and more choices on their own.
According to Michigan State University,
Giving your child opportunities to practice independence and experience autonomy helps them create a sense of mastery over their body, their mind and their environment. This supports independent and critical thinking, encourages intrinsic motivation and inspires confidence.
Teaching kids to be confident doing things on their own helps them to realize that they are capable people. When you encourage them to do things on their own, it helps them to develop into their best selves. They know that they can tackle whatever challenges may come their way in life.
As we watch our kids grow up, we can encourage them to learn to do more and more things on their own. Doing this allows them to be more confident individuals and to follow their dreams.
We can also support kids in making their own friends, so that they can have relationships outside the ones that they have with the family at home. This can support their social development, and help them develop a wider network of relationships.