Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017


By Domenick J. Maglio PhD. Traditional Realist

Ideally the process of independence should begin in infancy as soon as a child begins to explore his environment. The selection of objects is important for the child to examine and begin to manipulate and move around in the beginning explorations of the world. The touching of objects hanging above his crib shows the infant that he can directly impact reality.

The process of the child’s natural cooing and babbling is an important opportunity for parents to assist the child’s speech development. Too many parents do not seem to comprehend the importance of facilitating their infant’s development. Instead of requiring the child to repeat a word before giving him an object he desires they read the toddler’s body language and respond to his needs or wants. On the other end of the spectrum many parents are oblivious to the child. In either case the language development is slowed or reaches a level of disability for the growing child.

The modern child development approach is not to train the child for independence but to enjoy and extend his childhood. This approach delays development in most maturational areas, which can lead to future disabilities. It is as debilitating as forcing him to enter the adult world before he is ready.

This period of childhood is a time when children have to develop in many areas such as emotional, physical, social, coping, communication, thinking and time management as well as developing moral values, spirituality and a presence of God. This is only a partial list but emphasizes the importance of laying a strong foundation to assess the youngster’s journey to independence.

The entrance into school is the second opportunity for the child to fill in his foundation. The teacher’s evaluation of the child compared to other children is often the first objective appraisal of the child’s abilities and skills. The parents and teachers have to work together to help the child be successful as an adult. This is a difficult process.

Almost every parent, especially parents of a preschooler truly believe that their child is exceptionally bright. Usually there are preschoolers that have knowledge and interest in certain areas and deficits in others. When they enter preschool it is up to administrators and teachers to give an honest evaluation of the child to the parents. By starting with the strengths, which the parents clearly comprehend, it establishes a positive bond between the administration and the parent. Any problem area should be expressed to the parents but always with a plan of action to improve and correct these weaknesses. The parents usually are less aware of these problems than they are of the child’s strengths. The child’s liabilities are often overlooked or placed on the back burner.

The assistance of the school to help their child should be communicated as a wonderful team effort, not an assault on the parent’s effectiveness. The parents and the school working together can create miracles. The working together between parents and school requires a long committed dialogue towards the development of a successful, solid student. Any sabotaging by the parents more often than not results in the regression of the student often ending in withdrawal from the program or school.

When an honest relationship between the parents and school is established the work begins in earnest to help the child become an independent learner. One of the first issues to be settled is how much assistance the parents should give to their child in completing schoolwork. Depending on the age of the student, the parental school involvement should decrease as the child advances into higher grades.

In preschool through the second grade, parents should establish a stable home schedule for eating, bedtime and waking. The parents should expect their child to do age appropriate chores well in a reasonable time. Reading to them and once the child begins reading; the child should read to the parents. Certainly the child should be corrected in speech, thinking, factual information and behavior and errors. Parents are instrumental in setting standards and expectation for facilitating their child’s character, moral values and cultural foundation. Most importantly they should spend “quantity time” interacting with and loving their child.

Any rote memory activities in school the parents can and should participate in at home like spelling words, math facts, vocabulary definitions and reinforcement of basic knowledge. General knowledge development is further ground for strong parental involvement. In higher elementary grades, 3-6, parental involvement should proceed with caution. The student should assume most of the responsibility for his own assignments. The parents should expect the school to give the students review assignments that they have been prepared to complete on their own.

Encouraging the child to be independent can be difficult for many parents, especially those with only a single child. Too many parents are unaware of the short time they have to prepare the child to become a fully functioning, independent adult. With the help of the teachers and staff the parents realize they have a finite time to prepare their child to be a young adult and their attitude turns towards encouraging independence training for the child.

Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN and a new just published book, entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can visit Dr. Maglio at

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