Ensuring kids remain safe and TODO protected against sickness has always been every parent’s top priority — even more so in the new normal. For many moms and dads, this means staying by their children’s side 24/7, dealing with even the smallest sign of inconvenience they experience.
While there is nothing wrong with taking utmost care of your kids, parents must remember to accept and understand that children — yes, even the younger ones — need to experience navigating the world independently. After all, it’s by facing challenges and problems and solving these by themselves that they get to develop resilience.
In an interview with Smart Parenting, preschool teacher Inna Corpuz underscored the importance of letting kids have their own time playing, learning, and pursuing hobbies and interests. Having been in the academe for 12 years, Inna has observed and studied how independent play helps children, particularly toddlers ages 3 and up, become more self-reliant as they grow up.
Inna said that as kids start to show signs of independence, parents should also begin to give them the space they need to grow and learn. Doing so will provide them with a chance to build their self-esteem and develop problem-solving skills.
Keep reading to find out how independent play, which can be anything from reading books to playing in their play kitchen, helps form resilient #TodoExplorers ready for the real world:
It teaches kids how to solve problems and translate these to real-life situations.
Young kids might ask for help when faced with difficulties, but they must be encouraged to try and find a way to deal with these issues on their own first.
“If they get used to constantly look[ing] for intervention through the grown-ups around them, they won’t be able to develop confidence and survival skills,” Inna explained.
ExperTips: There are teacher-approved activities parents can try to help children hone problem-solving skills, such as outdoor play. Simply give your #TodoExplorers time to play in the backyard with minimal supervision, and watch how they have fun as they learn about the things around them.
Once they get used to doing things their way, they will be able to apply their learnings to real-life situations.
It hones their creativity and decision-making skills.
These skills can open doors to many possibilities in children’s minds as they brave through the reality of the world. Learning how to make sound decisions amid challenges can help them become creative thinkers, too.
“Playing allows kids to make up a fun world that they consider a haven of joy, learning, and love. Imagination is crucial for future problem solving and decision making,” Inna explained.
ExperTips: Puzzles and role-playing games are great ways to boost your #TodoExplorer's creativity. The former encourages children to think as they try to identify which piece would best fit the puzzle. The latter allows them to be versatile and see what another world can be like.
It helps them discover their passion and purpose.
Inna shared a story about a former student who started out as quiet and reserved during the first few weeks of class. But through independent play routines, the student was able to develop an interest in building things, which later turned into a passion.
Fast forward to today, the child is now very much into robotics and has enrolled in several robotics classes, which led him to join competitions with his creations.
“What started as simple tinkering during playtime turned out to be a life-changing discovery of the child’s interest and talent. So, if children are given opportunities to discover what brings them joy, they can develop a sense of fulfillment and find meaning in everything that they do,” Inna elaborated.
It helps them build confidence to face any challenge that may arise.
Letting children solve problems, make decisions, and discover passions all on their own are all but preparations for when they have to face more formidable challenges in the years to come. You might think it’s too early for young kids to be doing these, but starting them young will benefit them even better as they grow older.
It’s normal to feel worried about the “letting go” of young children to go play and explore, but it might help keep in mind, as Inna put it, to “learn to give up control without checking out completely.”
She added: “Inspire but don’t require. Allow them to fail and fall, but be the net to catch them when they do.”
Moms and dads, giving toddlers the freedom to maximize their learning through playtime and real-life experiences, can help them become the #TodoExplorers they are meant to be: resilient, confident, and always ready to overcome life’s challenges.
To better equip them in their independent play sessions, encourage children to keep active and eat well-balanced meals every day. Don’t forget to give them at least one glass of milk that’s tailored for their age, too. Check the label to make sure it contains nutrients that can help strengthen their bones and help boost their immune system so they can fully enjoy every activity they want to try — like NIDO® 3+ and 5+.
NIDO® 3+ and 5+, the no. 1 milk for kids ages 3 years old and above, are now improved and formulated with NUTRITODS®, a scientific program designed by experts to address the growing up needs of Filipino children ages 3 and up. They contain age-appropriate nutrients for brain and digestion, with no table sugar added, to support your child’s growth and development.
NIDO® 3+ and 5+ are the only growing-up milk with LACTOBACILLUS PROTECTUS®, which, together with a balanced diet and an active lifestyle, is scientifically proven to help support children's respiratory defenses and may help protect them against frequent coughs and colds.
NIDO® 3+ and 5+ also contain 50% more immunonutrients like vitamins A, C, E (versus previous formulation) DHA for brain, PREBIO® 3, iron, zinc, and other essential vitamins and minerals. That's why 9 out of 10 moms in Metro Manila recommend NIDO® 3+.
Watch this video to find out more:
With these tips and NIDO® 3+ and 5+ to help keep children TODO protected, moms and dads can hopefully feel at ease as they let their children pursue independence.