Self-direction. Something so many of us find ourselves lacking. Ahhmmmm raises hand I know it sounds funny being a work at home mom and dealing with self direction issues but, it is true. In fact I have had this post in drafts for several days and well it is due to go live in about six hours and I have just now started it.
Yep I struggle with self direction. But as a mother I want better for my children So we encourage self directed learning. WE love when a new book encourages children to expand on a thought or activity. With our Mother Goose Time program the children get new stories, activities, and art projects all month-long. Each one is in its self open-ended. After we finnish the bases the kids are given some free time to play, imagine, grow, while I clean up and prepare the next meal.
Learning to let go can be the hard part. As parent’s we want what is best for our children even when that is a challenge for us to let go and encourage our children to live and make mistakes without us to stop them. In the age of helicopter parenting such can even be thought of as irresponsible. You must break that mentality to enjoy the benefits of your child learning self-direction.
Natural consequences are the name of the game. In my case it is nearly midnight and I am typing away falling asleep at the keyboard knowing if you do not type the first unedited draft done before I can sleep. BUT I COULD have had the entire thing done days ago. I am paying the consequences right this moment for my own actions. For your child the consequence may be a favorite toy getting broken or missing something they wanted to do because they did not have the drive to get ready in time.
Leave learning tools out for your child. From a library of books, to the box of art supplies. Access to a computer is an amazing tool for older children. When children have learning and exploring materials at the ready they can develop interests and direction.
Help your child find what they need. When your child comes to you wanting to learn something put down what you are doing and go together to find the answer. Visit the library, plan a field trip, or surf the web. If you find a field trip or project to do but, it is not in the schedule or finances make plans and learn what you can before you get to follow through. This helps your child keep on in the direction your child is leading.
Procrastination is Self-directions enemy
As you can probably guess procrastination really is the biggest thing that holds you back. We as parents are not always the best example of this. By we I mean ME but, I KNOW I am not the only one. Teaching children to beat procrastination and set off to learn the answers to their questions, to create that new project, to explore without waiting we can help them because better self-directed learners.