Child Autonomy

by Dominik Flaig

The little toddler that could: Autonomy and independence

Surely you know some situations in your daily life with each other, which are characterized by statements like: Can I do that alone? I will do it, I'm already a big girl! No stop, I want to try it myself! But often the moments are difficult to estimate: Tying shoelaces with knots and bows in the early morning, busy traffic and far and wide no zebra crossing in the rush hour or a high wall to climb in the middle of nowhere. The promotion of the child's autonomy and independence are important building blocks for an independent and free life!

Autonomy is a state of self-determination and independence. The child can decide for itself which way it wants to go and is not dependent on the opinion of others. For example, it can take what it wants from the shelf in the children's room, when it wants and play with it as long as he/she thinks it is right.

The aim of education for independence is to make the child as early as possible and as far as possible independent from the help of others. This means that at the beginning we help him/her to hold a hand like when balancing on the wall, but step by step we withdraw more and more without giving up the emotional support.

In one simple sentence: Education is the art of perfect failure!

The following aspects promote a positive development of autonomy & independence:

  • Granting freedom
  • Getting your own experience
  • Assigning responsibility
  • Creating a sense of achievement
  • Clear structures & agreements in everyday life
  • Consciously reflecting on guidelines, rules and interventions
  • Participation of the child


As with many things in life, the right balance is important here. But what does this mean? First and foremost, it is important that you as parents feel safe and that you can control the general conditions. So, practice riding the bike on a free parking lot on a Sunday, tie the shoes for practice comfortably on the sofa just before dinner or climb and balance in the children's room after an extensive pillow fight!

In the globegarden childcare centers, experienced pedagogical and care experts are at your side as trustworthy contacts for everything to do with the glorious terrible twos-phase, autonomy, and self-determination of children. Because education is not what we do, it’s who we are.

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