Children are meant to explore and learn from their environment. Once they start walking, they are meant to walk to refine their gross motor skills and experiment with their body in a safe environment.
In our modern world, we are consistently dependent on vehicles and gadgets to make our lives easier. Although, those are all wonderful inventions they also make us more dependent. Children are constantly being transferred in strollers and car seats hindering their natural growth and development. Child’s inner need to move and explore is obstructed by modern equipment like strollers.
Benefits of Toddler Led Walks
- Promotes independence & freedom
- Lets your child discover new things in the environment
- Child feels equal and contributing mem
- ber of the family when given the choice of walking together
Tips to Promote Safety During Toddler Led Walks
Safety is the most important aspect of child led walks. It is important to let our children know about the safe behavior and model those safe behavior during our walks.
How to Avoid Power Struggles
It is important to be consistent and clear about ground rules during child led walks.
-Give children positive choices to let them feel empowered and make a decision.
-Follow through by modeling what you say
-Avoid saying simply “No” without any explanation or offering an alternative.
Examples of Choices:
- “I see a car approaching on our road, would you like to hold my hand or daddy’s hand?
- “I would like you to do my hand so we can make sure we are both safe. Would you like to hold my right hand or left hand?”
- “I can see that you love collecting things. How about we place them in this basket and when it is full, we know to stop gathering more?”
- “I love that you are using your listening ears and the way you stopped when I asked you to. Could you also show me your walking feet?”
When we approach our children with respect and stop being a dictator, we form a relationship of mutual understanding, love, and respect. Children want to do the right thing only if we understand that parenthood isn’t about raising a “mini me” but it is about honoring our child’s unique self and seeing our children as humans first.
At the end, always remember to enjoy the present moment with your child and have some fun along the way!
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