As a parent, sometimes as important as it is to be "ON IT" (past post) in areas, we also need to know when to back up a lil' bit so that we are not always our childrens' solution to problems that arise.
When our child is having difficulties doing something by themselves, it is extremely tempting to just step in immediately & fix it. This is almost second nature for us as parents. But first, we need to pull on the reigns a bit, stop & let the child try to do it on their own! - even when they want to give up immediately because it appears to be "too hard" to them. A common incidence that comes to mind in which my girls try to use the easy scapegoat of "calling on mom for help" is usually when they have made a big mess of toys or spilled something & they have no clue where to begin. Although I do believe that sometimes they sincerely feel overwhelmed, I also realize that I am NOT helping them if I just jump in & do everything for them (even though many times it would be faster & easier in the short run for me to just do it for them). It is vital to teach them that they ARE capable & that quitting before even trying is not the right solution. Kids can actually surprise, even themselves, with what they are capable of if they simply choose to try!
We really shouldn't be doing anything that our kids can do for themselves because on a level we are actually robbing them of fantastic opportunities to build their self confidence!
When a child comes across something new or something they are little less familiar with, they might need a lil' assistance, but instead of outright doing something for them, we can try teaching them by 1st trying to walk them through it verbally & then showing them, if it is still necessary to do so. Maybe even after we have accomplished whatever it is they needed help with, we can go back & then have them try to do it themselves by mimicking what we just showed them (like tying their shoes). After they do complete something they initially wanted to give up on, we need to make sure that we shed light on the fact that because they stayed persistent , it paid off. Also, ask them if they are "proud of themselves?" because that is the most important thing, especially in comparison to doing things to "please others".
"I CAN'T" is a bad word & should not be allowed in their lil' vocabulary. They are capable and CAN do all things, maybe they might need a lil' help or practice at 1st, but we don't need to be the ones trying to put those kinds of limitations on our children. We need to be our children's biggest supporters & cheerleaders, while also practicing what we preach in our own lives. With the right attitude, its amazing what a lil' child can accomplish on their own! From cleaning up after themselves when they play (we can start teaching this at about 1 1/2 yrs old, if not earlier) to eventually getting dressed all by themselves & tying their own shoes! And remember to always applaud their efforts!
Sometimes, as a parent, it is also hard not to step in every time when you overhear your child having an argument with 1 of their siblings. We tend to just jump in all the way every time & just solve it for all parties involved as quickly as possible. This is we, the parent playing the role of referee. What really does that help? If we are not teaching our children to work on solving/working through their own problems (developing problem solving skills), then its like we are "stunting their growth" in an area. From a young age, we need to help our kids to think things through. If you hear them fighting over a toy, maybe step in after awhile with both kids (make sure they are listening & giving you eye contact) & instead of just taking the toy away from everyone, help them think about what a few creative solutions might be. If they are having trouble formulating some on their own, then maybe you can help them out a lil' by making a few viable suggestions. For example: "Sally had the toy 1st so maybe she should get to play with it for 5 or 10 minutes & then she could share & let Johnny take a turn next". Kids are smart if we just give them that lil' guidance they need from time to time. As much as we would like to be, we can't be with our kids 24/7 helping them solve all their problems. We have to equip them with various problem solving skills from a young age that they will be able to develop & utilize throughout their entire life. And again this is yet another opportunity for you to help your child build self confidence and realize their own capabilities.