How to raise an independent child?

raising an independent kid- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Being Independent is definitely a trait we want for our children. We want them to be self-reliant, confident and capable.  Many times, we are frustrated that our kids are not able to be more independent and this could simply be because we did everything for them for too long and it is unfair to suddenly expect them to start doing things by themselves. They cannot suddenly take up big responsibilities just because they became older by the calendar. We need to begin by giving them small opportunities to learn to be fully independent gradually as they grow up. It would be a good idea to start early on a few things that can help them gain a better rationale as they age and move along in this process.

1. Get them to make choices: One of the most important traits of an independent person is the ability to make choices, without relying on the outside help. We see many adults struggling at even deciding which colour to paint the living room with! And finally, they end up feeling so confused that they give up and leave it unpainted!! Start giving your child small options when they are little, say- while they are getting dressed, when you are giving them food, etc. When you decide everything for them, they do not exercise their abilities to make a choice.  So instead of making all the choices for them, let them make a few. Remember that a lot of things in life including decision-making is just practice.

2. Do not take the fall: When our kids mess up, we usually run to make it better. For example, your child forgot his science project on the dining table; do not run after him to give it to him. Your child forgot an assignment and is asking you to make up a note to the teacher, refuse to do so. Let them face the consequences of their choices. It is okay for them to fall from small heights when they are little, rather than getting stuck in big pit-holes when grown up.

why children should be independent- Parenting resources by ZenParent

3. Make them answerable: This is for those parents who are so indulgent that we become blind to our children’s faults. When they try to blame other people for their inability to fulfil their duties, we want to believe that. Have them own up to their shortcomings and make them fulfill their commitments. Do not indulge the habit of pointing fingers at someone else.

4. Give them responsibilities: Starting with small chores like putting away their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper, give them tasks that they can do and feel good about it. Chores make  children have a strong work ethic which makes them independent.

5. Don’t demand perfection: When our kids are little, we do not let them do many things because they do it clumsily and we just don’t have the time to fill for such gaps. Sometimes, the clean-up is harder than just doing the task by ourselves. But in our quest for perfection, let us not miss out on the opportunities to teach our children to be independent.

Most importantly- Many of our behavioural traits are a combination of nature and nurture and as parents, we probably can tweak our kids’ behaviour slightly in the nurture department.  As parents, we need to let go a little to enable our kids to spread their wings and fly.

Image source: via Google images

 

 

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