How to Foster Children's Emotional Autonomy

By fostering our children's emotional autonomy, we're actually helping them be more independent – from taking care of their personal hygiene to clothes they wear, and even the way in which they relate to their environment. Our role as parents is, in this sense, very important.
How to Foster Children's Emotional Autonomy

Last update: 25 June, 2019

It’s essential for parents to know how to foster their children’s emotional autonomy. This will help children strengthen their independence, learn good habits, discipline, and manage their feelings, all key components to facing everyday obstacles and developing their personality.

Children experience a wide range of emotions just like adults do. Yet due to their young age, oftentimes they don’t know how to handle their own feelings. These include basic emotions, such as joy, anguish, fear or anger.

Being independent

Among the recommendations on how to foster children’s emotional autonomy, it’s important to make them understand that they’re independent people. That way, they can make their own decisions and feel empowered.

Some children, as young as two years old, want to start doing things for themselves. They even think they don’t need any help when brushing their teeth, eating, running, walking or getting dressed; these are tasks that they observe adults do without any help.

Autonomy in personal hygiene

The importance of maintaining hygiene and personal care is something that all children should learn early on. Take advantage of their own age to teach them how to do things without exposing themselves to greater dangers. The same idea should be applied when it comes to sports and other recreational activities.

Another important aspect that’ll help you foster your children’s emotional autonomy is making them feel encouraged and involved; this is vital when it comes to teaching them responsibility at home or at school. It’s also essential to instill in them values such as friendship, generosity, tolerance, and humility.

It’s important for parents to monitor our children’s activities daily, without restricting them of course. Also, allow them to contribute to the household to teach them discipline. This will give them the confidence they need and will help them learn the importance of sticking to the rules and being cautious.

How to Foster Children's Emotional Autonomy

Duties of the parents and teachers

One of every parent’s main responsibilities should be to teach their children emotional autonomy. You have to prepare them to withstand obstacles and overcome them; that way, they’ll learn the important skills and abilities they need to start their own path.

From the womb, children should receive stimulation that contributes to their physical and psychological development. By doing this, you’ll help them forge their character and manage their emotional intelligence.

We must remember that although children come from their parents, they don’t belong to them. So, our intention should be to raise them as independent individuals and ensure they have the necessary tools to manage their own lives.

Parents and teachers should guide children to channel their concerns and doubts in the best way possible. Caring for children’s health and assessing their self-esteem is also a parent’s task.

Fostering children’s emotional autonomy early on

You can tell that children have emotional autonomy when they execute their own tasks and activities patiently. Having this skill will also allow them to learn from their mistakes or decide what they want, always feeling loved, respected and cared for.

To achieve this, you can assign simple repetitive routines, according to their age, to serve as a guide for them to integrate themselves into their family, social and educational environment. When children acquire these skills, they’ll feel accepted and valued as a part of society.

“When fostering your children’s emotional autonomy, it’s important to make them feel encouraged and involved; this is vital when it comes to learning responsibility at home or at school.”

The importance of having good habits

Forming good habits that help children foster their emotional autonomy constitutes an important stage for their integral development. This development includes cognitive and physical aspects; you have to help them understand their emotions and learn to express themselves and communicate.

Good habits are formed in each stage of growth. There are patterns of behavior that’ll make them more responsible, safe and autonomous individuals.

For example, children must learn to eat healthy foods that’ll keep them healthy and strong. Simultaneously, it’s essential that they understand the importance of communicating with their environment.

Infants must learn to respect others and strive to achieve their goals. Everything is about making them happy children, who love to play and enjoy life.

How to Foster Children's Emotional Autonomy

Positive feelings

Emotional autonomy flourishes in children when they’re invited to feel, think and show positive initiatives. An important part of teaching is inviting children to satisfy their curiosity and to discover new things.

When we foster our children’s emotional autonomy, we’re cultivating free people. Over time, they’ll become sensitive, successful and happy adults, capable of accepting challenges, setting goals and achieving them.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.