Laura (@lauralove5514) is the mom of a 3-year-old and 17-month-old who practices gentle parenting, which is a parenting discipline in which parents treat kids as equals and encourage them to learn good behavior for their own sake.
Laura is trying to teach her kids to be confident and self-reliant from a young age, so she encourages them to do everyday tasks on their own. In a recent video, Laura showed how she encourages her 17-month-old to make his own snacks!
In the video, Laura shows how she gently guides her son Jonah through making a snack for himself. Rather than make the snack for him, or take over when he struggles, Laura provides guidance but also allows Jonah to make his own decisions and mistakes.
Jonah begins by attempting to peel a banana. When he struggles, Laura demonstrates how to do it, then lets Jonah finish the job himself.
Next, Jonah chops up the banana with a child-safe slicer and begins spreading chocolate hummus on a piece of bread. Initially, Jonah has trouble figuring out how to spread the hummus, but, once again, his mom steps in and briefly demonstrates.
“If he’s having difficulty with something, I will model to him or use hand-over-hand one time to explain how it’s done and then after that I just kind of let him do his thing,” Laura explains.
For Laura, the most important thing is letting Jonah learn on his own—even if it means he makes mistakes. “It’s important to try not to fix what they’re doing,” she explains. “If I were to go in after and add more hummus or spread it out more, that would give him the idea that his job wasn’t good enough, which would defeat the purpose of trying to give him self confidence and independence.”
Jonah’s completed snack is a piece of bread covered in chocolate hummus and two small banana slices. It might not be a restaurant-level meal, but it’s an impressive piece of work for a not-yet-2-year-old!
Viewers expressed their appreciation for Laura’s parenting style and Jonah’s snack-making skills in the comments section.
“You’re teaching them to be independent and that’s a wonderful thing. I did the same with my boys,” one parent replied.
“I love this. It actually builds confidence. This kid [is] gonna be a champ,” another viewer wrote.
Another TikToker responded, “This is how you prepare a child for life.”
Many experts believe that teaching children independence from a young age can help prepare them for success in adulthood. Encouraging a toddler to make his own snacks might be a small act, but it shows him he’s capable of doing things on his own.
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