As a parent, we want to raise strong, independent children that will be ready to tackle anything that life throws at them.
4 Simple Tips for Raising Independent Children
In order to help our children be as independent as possible, we need to step back and take a look at what we are doing.
We may even find that things we thought were helping our children are actually hindering their independence.
Below are 4 things to do to help ensure that your children become as independent as possible.
Encourage Independent Play
Playing together is a great way to bond with our kids, but sometimes we need to give them some space to play on their own. Offer your child toys to play with and then let them play alone.
A huge perk of your child learning how to entertain themselves is that it will give you a bit of time to do whatever needs doing — catch up on laundry, check email, or organize your pantry.
TIP: Some children who are first learning how to play independently benefit from having music on while they play.
Build Problem-Solving Skills
Strong problem-solving skills are necessary for kids to be independent.
The experiences children have before they even begin to form long term memories work to wire their brains on whether they should be independent or wait for help.
Things like self-soothing as babies help them learn important problem-solving skills they’ll use for their whole lives.
As they get older, allowing children to brush their teeth independently, wash their hands on their own, and feed themselves — however messy it may be — are all things that teach them to solve problems.
As they continue to grow, it’s important to give our kids even more opportunities to figure out how to solve their problems on their own before we jump to their rescue.
For example, when my son is building with blocks and getting frustrated that his tower keeps falling over, instead of taking over and building his tower for him, I try to teach him how to do it.
I encourage him. I tell him how he is doing a great job and to keep on trying.
I build my own tower next to his, while explaining what I am doing. This way, he can replicate what I do to make his own tower.
To raise an independent child you don’t need to leave them to fend for themselves, you just need to show them how to solve problems on their own in the future.
An important aspect of being independent is learning responsibility.
A great place to start is to teach kids to clean up after themselves. When they are done playing with toys, teach them to put their toys away before getting something else out.
Have them make their own bed in the morning, help unload the dishwasher (no knives!), or make dinner with you.
These don’t have to feel like chores or work to young children. My 2-year-old son enjoys throwing away his garbage, wiping his table when he is done eating, and sweeping up his crumbs with his kids cleaning set.
Teach Kids to be Smart with Money
Money often feels like a taboo topic, which is a mistake when it comes to parenting. Talk openly about money in front of your children. Try not to make it a negative topic.
Teaching your child to manage their own money before they are old enough to get an actual job will help them know what to do when they are earning their own money.
There are lots of different ways to do this, and you’ll know what the best way to implement this. You can give your child an allowance, let them earn money by doing chores, or a combination of this.
However you choose to give them money, it’s important to teach them what they should be doing with this money. Give them a savings account, and make sure they know how to save for bigger expenses.
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