Hesperian Health Guides

Being independent

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Who Are Blind > Chapter 8: Teaching Everyday Activities > Being independent

a child climbing a tree.
It is better to teach your child how to do new things safely than stop him from trying new things.

Being independent means that a child has a chance to do things by himself, without help from other people. Sometimes, because families worry about their blind child’s well-being, they protect him too much. Then, when he is older, he will not know how to do things by himself.

Being well-behaved
a man speaking as a boy reaches for a girl's food during a family meal.
Luis, that’s Julia’s food. Please eat the food on your plate.

Children who are blind or cannot see well need firm, loving discipline just like any other child does. But sometimes people feel so sorry for a blind child that they do not set limits on his behavior, and they let him do things they would not allow other children to do. Try to make the same rules for all your children.

a man speaking to a child during a family meal.
Tuan Jai, keep your mouth closed when you chew your food.

Teach her the same manners that other children learn. Although a blind child will have some different eating habits than other children — like touching her food to know what and where it is — she should learn the eating habits used in her community. Then she can eat with other people without her family feeling shame.