Breaking large or difficult tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks is one of the best things that a parent can do to foster self confidence in a child. If a child perceives a task as too difficult, he will likely avoid it altogether. According to Zero to Three, “When you help your child break down these challenging tasks into smaller steps, he is much more likely to feel confident that he can tackle them. You are also teaching your child how to use this strategy to accomplish the many big tasks he will face as he grows.”
Each Stepping Story™ uses this simple method of breaking down a larger event or situation into a series of simple, easy steps. As we remind parents in every book, modeling self confidence is critical to helping your child develop it. “When you go with your child into a new situation or to meet a new person,” explains Zero to Three, “if you look calm, confident and happy, it lets him know this is safe, good place or person and he is more likely to feel safe and confident as well.”
For example, in our story about Food Allergies, we break what might be a complex and intimidating task into simple components. The story helps the child develop awareness of how his body might react if he eats an allergen and outlines who to tell and what to say if that does happen. At the end, we provide a prompt for the child to practice saying the words he might need if he experiences an allergic reaction.
Each Stepping Story™ ends by affirming the child’s growing capabilities and articulates feelings of pride and love between the parent and child as he gains new skills. In conjunction with repeated reading, these positive outcomes set the stage for the child’s growing self-confidence as he approaches his next developmental step.