How to Teach Kids to Be Independent
Building children’s self-esteem and giving them the chance to grow their independence can be a challenging task. It’s important to encourage your children to make decisions on their own as they grow. The benefits of your child being able to do things independently outweigh the risks. These tips can help your child become independent.
1. Give them options
By offering children choices, they will feel empowered and prepared to make more meaningful choices as they grow. Let your child pick out their breakfast or lunch, for example: Do you want a banana with your sandwich at lunch or pasta with cheese? Alternatively, you can offer your children a few different outfit choices every morning.
2. Do not intervene while your child is struggling.
As children grow, they must learn some tasks that require effort, and that often, they’ll succeed if you try again and again. By allowing your child to fail, they will develop confidence, self-esteem, and independence.
3. Encourage taking risks.
A parent’s first job is to protect children from harm. Allowing your child to take a healthy amount of risk can at the same time help them develop critical thinking skills, confidence, and independence. To prevent your child from doing that, rather than getting upset, put them on an adult watch if they attempt to use the giant slide or climb a tree. Coach your children and offer safety tips instead of reprimanding them if you think they are in danger.
4. Let your child do something on their own if they can.
Typically, children will want to do things on their own, like dressing themselves, buckling their seats in the car, and much more. Let your child complete these tasks independently if they are capable of doing so. You will be helping your child feel independent by not intervening, and therefore, avoiding the possibility of a meltdown.
5. Assign responsibilities to them.
Almost any child older than 2 years old will be able to handle chores and responsibilities. Young children may take care of simple chores such as putting away their toys or feeding pets, while older children take care of sweeping and mopping floors, washing dishes, etc. Let children contribute to household chores. Children who were given chores as young as 3 and 4 have better outcomes as adults.
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