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How can I help my child become more independent?
As time passes, your baby starts taking more and more independent steps. You'll see a unique personality develop, and your child will demonstrate strong opinions. This developmental stage is one worth welcoming. After all, you want to see your baby grow into a responsible and independent child, able to do things with an individual sense of the world—not to simply imitate the actions and thoughts of others. When your baby starts to develop a singular personality, this is your signal to provide some breathing room (but never stray too far—your baby still is a baby, of course!). As skills and learning progress during the first year, babies start enjoying time on their own to explore new things. Your little scientist is also carefully observing you and the world around you, taking mental notes—after all, babies aren't born knowing how human beings operate. Ensure that your child has a well-stocked 'laboratory' of things to explore as well as your help and guidance in solving problems! Soon, your baby will be on the road to happy independence—with your helping hands close by.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell Ph.D. Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education