#UGUmbrella – This May we are looking at Autonomy – our ability to make decisions
April 30, 2021
GUELPH, Ontario – This May, the Upper Grand District School Board is looking at autonomy as our Umbrella Skill. Autonomy is our ability to make decisions and have a say in the direction of our lives.
Autonomy helps with the development of independence and trust and is an important part of our individual growth and development. As someone nurturing autonomy, we aim to create a cooperative bond between ourselves and our children or students while also paying attention to secure and reasonable boundaries and expectations.
Autonomy goes beyond teaching independence and is about supporting children in a way that allows them a sense of comfort in themselves.
Why is autonomy important?
- Helps to create a sense of mastery – over body, mind and environment
- Supports independent and critical thinking
- Encourages intrinsic motivations
- Inspires confidence
- Allows for individuality and uniqueness to emerge
What can we do to support autonomy in our families and classrooms?
- Involve your child/ren in household decision making – age appropriately of course!
- Give your child the opportunity to have input in their daily routine when possible.
- Help your child to express their own emotions and opinions within safe boundaries.
- Keep loving them! Let them know through you actions and words that you love them.
- Respect their preferences and choices when possible. And when they can’t be met you can still acknowledge that you heard their preference/choice.
- Really listen to your child and help them label and express their feelings.
(Adapted from Dr. Shenfield, What is Autonomy Supportive Parenting and How to Practice It, 2019, article)
Let us know how you nurture autonomy this May by using #UGUmbrella.