Promoting Autonomy in the Visit

February 24, 2021
Promoting Autonomy in the Visit

Autonomy is a child’s sense that they are able to use their own skills in thinking and behaving. Children who experience parenting that supports their autonomy have been shown to have better academic achievement, social-emotional-cognitive development, and executive function skills. As a provider, you can use the well child visit to discuss, model and praise autonomy supportive parenting.

Check out these ideas to get started:

  • Discuss babyproofing to create a “yes” environment. Creating a safe place for babies to explore on their own decreases the need for the word “no.”
  • Model asking patients questions directly. Showing you value a child’s response helps them to gain confidence.
  • Praise parents for letting their child answer questions. This increases the likelihood they will do it at home.
For more ideas and reminders on how you can promote autonomy during the visit, download our autonomy summary sheet.