From the Head of Junior School

Never underestimate children – A ‘Tuning Into Kids’ message
Training for independence starts from a young age and continues into adolescence. Developmentally, children are ready at around two years of age to learn the skills of independence, so it makes sense to begin these habits early. Those parents who were fortunate to attend the ‘Tuning into Kids’ workshops will be very familiar with this message.

Encouraging a positive contribution is one of the best ways to promote self-confidence. Parents and schools who teach children to do jobs for themselves and provide opportunities related to age, issue and interest will send a powerful message that they believe that their children are capable.

In this climate, children are more willing to take risks with their learning. Parents and teachers should be supportive without stealing the real learning opportunity that comes from wrestling with a problem and completing it independently. We must avoid the temptation to step in too early, thereby snatching away the chance to learn from the struggle.

Naturally, children will make mistakes when they assume greater responsibility, so expectations need to be in-line with children’s capabilities. We need to accept their genuine efforts and be supportive when they make these mistakes. Breaking jobs down into smaller tasks often helps children learn what is expected.

The most effective way to promote responsibility in children is to give them responsibility. When we give them more responsibility we gradually make ourselves redundant, which is the main aim of teaching and parenting.

Steve Wilson
Head of Junior School Donvale