We’ve been focusing on self-toileting lately among the toddler community and one of the essential skills to toileting is self-dressing.
To close our series, Ms. Deanne offers a little coaching to see your child fully develop this practical skill. In the video below, she presents the “reach around approach” when aiding a child in dressing and undressing one’s self. This approach is a technique used in the toddler classrooms that allows the adult to show the child how to take things on and off from their perspective.
If you are unable to view the embedded video, click here.
Several days after filming with Ms. Deanne the benefits of her approach were made clearer to me when I watched my 4 year old struggle to unbutton his pajama shirt. Normally, I would coach him by sitting across from him, but this time I remembered Ms. Deanne’s reach around technique and invited my son to sit in my lap. With a few simple verbal cues on how to do it and a new shift in his perspective, he is now independently buttoning and unbuttoning his own pajama shirt.
We hope you too will find Ms. Deanne’s verbal cues and coaching technique to be helpful. Remember when supporting a child to master any new skill; the child must remain the doer and the parent an ever-present helper. It was Maria Montessori who said, “Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.”