5 Parenting Tips for Raising Independent Kids
Helping children develop increased independence is a critical step as you help them prepare for kindergarten. When kids complete tasks on their own, it helps them grow and mature. Each experience helps children learn how to become more self-sufficient. Independent kids also feel increased control over their own lives.
As parents, there are things we can do to help our kids become more independent and capable individuals. We can provide them with opportunities to encourage their sense of independence and remove obstacles that may prevent them from being self-reliant, so they can accomplish more on their own.
Here are some helpful tips to help you raise independent kids:
Start by having children do simple chores
Whether you're trying to eliminate some of the housework from your to-do-list or help your kids learn how to contribute to your household, age-appropriate chores are a great way to start instilling independence in youngsters.
You can start by assigning children simple responsibilities as early as five years of age. Even if children are a bit younger, you can still involve them in the process of helping out at home, by inviting them to do simple tasks, such as picking up toys and putting books back on shelves.
As children get older, assign them bigger chores, such as setting the table for meals, doing laundry, and making their own beds. You may also teach them how to cook. Have kids help you prepare easy recipes at first. Once they get the hang of simple kitchen tasks, you can move on to more complex recipes.
Let them pick out their own clothes
Most kids have an independent streak, and they want to feel capable of making their own decisions. One way to encourage this is by letting children pick out their own outfits each day.
If you let children select their own clothes, you can still oversee what they choose to ensure their choices are reasonable. For example, certain weather conditions may dictate whether your child can wear shorts instead of pants, or sandals instead of boots. Check the forecast together to help your child determine which clothes are sensible based on the season and climate.
Encourage independent thinking
Kids need to learn how to think critically on their own. Let them express their own points of view, and express their opinions about various topics. Encourage independent thinking by asking open-ended questions that stimulate thought and discussion.
Also, consider engaging in activities together, such as board games. Invite children to create their own adventures based on the theme or setting of the game. You can also encourage independent thinking by letting kids make choices and choose between two items, such as different flavors of ice cream or which video games they want to play. Choices allow children to explore the world independently.
Let kids take reasonable risks
We've all heard parents tell their kids "Be careful!" countless times whenever they're about to try something new, for fear that they might hurt themselves. However, we also know that children learn by taking chances and making mistakes.
Kids learn how to take calculated risks when you let them play on their own or encourage independent activities. Kids need to be given space to explore to learn from experience. Since young children are typically surrounded by adults, it can be easy for them to feel a sense of safety and security. if something goes wrong. While safety is essential, too much involvement from adults can prevent children from trying new things, or being adventurous and independent as they grow up.
Allow children to make friends on their own
Many kids are shy and introverted, especially those whose parents tend to hover over their every move. In these situations, children often become too dependent on adults because they haven’t had opportunities to make friends on their own.
You can help children develop social independence by allowing them to interact with others and giving them space. This is an excellent way for your kids to learn how to socialize and develop new relationships, which is essential in order to enrich interpersonal and communication skills.
Consider enrolling children in extracurricular activities where they can interact with peers. You don't have to sign them up for a bunch of activities all at once. Just look for a couple of activities or groups that interest your child. Allow kids to explore new things and assert themselves when it comes to picking his own peers with whom to socialize.
It's never too early to instill a sense of independence in children. Follow these tips to help you raise kids who develop a healthy sense of independence. Doing so will encourage children to grow into more self-sufficient, responsible, and happy adults.
At Mrs. Myers’ Reading Room, we provide a Kindergarten Program that lays the foundation for reading and learning, which in turn will help your child become prepared for overall academic success.