Don’t do anything that your kids could do on their own

I could not resist sharing this video of my daughters with you.

It is the actual reflection of how «we should never do anything for the children that they can do for themselves» as we were told a hundred years ago by two psychologists Alfred Adler and his disciple Richard Dreikurs, (so, we could say, that both are the precursors of what we today know as Positive Discipline).

Because it wasn´t until 1988 when Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lyott, when they deciden to name what Adler and Dreikurs stated years ago, they used the Positive Discipline, not as a «method», but as an attitude in which we are able to act with firmness and kindness but above all with respect to ourselves, the others and the enviroment.



The footage, shows one afternoon with my daughters; they were playing on a slope that is next to the playground, near home and at a certain time they want to climb the bicycle inside the park (instead of using the defined entry for it, of course, because that is what kids usually do: they do more or less the same things as grown ups, but in their own ways) … so, we can just imagine, why they want to climb the bicycle in the playground, but… I just observed (and recording with the mobile phone). As my intention was not to share it with you, maybe the quality of the footage is not excellent, please accept my apologies…

The video is long, about 4 minutes, but there you can first see the team work that both girls do to achieve the common goal that is to climb the bike and the scooter to the park. The conversations between them are amazing, they are two kids, but they try to figure out how to get their goal, they give each other instructions and they speak to each other like almost grown ups.

But for me, the very best is the satisfaction face of the two (especially the older) when she sees that she has achieved the goal by her own means, without the help of Mom and even there is a moment were they ask for my help, they keep on looking for a solution on their own. The sentence: «We did it! We did it!» is remarkable at their age.

Of course I want to make help my daughters, and this is precisely what I’m doing.

I KNOW THAT THEY are able to discern a plan, to achieve their goals.

AND THEY KNOW that I trust them, that they can do what they set out to do, they are aware of their potential and do not give up.

What would they have learned if I had come to «rescue» them?
That the easiest thing is to call mom (or someone else) to get me the chestnuts out of the fire.

I would have stolen experiencing the satisfaction you feel when after much effort you achieve what you have fought for.

It is easier to tell them what they have to do or even do things for them, in the short term ,yes, I buy it!! they will be happy because they have gotten an immediate satisfaction and without having to put effort on their part.

However, in the long run, we have taken away a wonderful opportunity to train for similar future experiences.


  • If they had not achieved their objective (which in one time,I really doubted), they would have had to deal with frustration, and that is positive, we as parents and educators would have had to validate their feelings, accompany them in their frustration and pain, make them to see that after so much effort not getting what one proposes hurts and much, and you have to look for alternatives, try another way, not quit, and if not, to conform, because life is not a easy way. In life we ​​usually have to fight for what we want, and some things are achieved and some are not. Life is a cluster of things, good, bad and regular, that happen to us but we must learn from all of them.

  • And if they succeed, as it has been in this case, admire their strength and tenacity, enjoy that face of joy and congratulate them for how persistent they have been despite the difficulties and make them understand that they have achieved things by effort That they have done without having surrendered, to say to them that they must be very proud of themselves because they have obtained them. In this way, their self-esteem grows, an essential quality for a good emotional growth of children and unfortunately today many children and young people lack it.


And you? Do you prefer to make life easier for your children or prepare them for the future?

Please tell me in the comments below and please share if you fancy.

Thank you.





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