Raising independent children is finding a balance between being patient while not being too over indulgent to them either. As parents, it is our natural instinct to want to help them with everything and with every step along the way. But by doing this we are taking away their ability to make their own decisions and choices. Kids want to feel independent, but it is still our duty to guide them in the right direction. Here are some great tips on how to raise more independent children:
Create a Routine. Building a set structure and routine will give your children the independence and know how to do daily tasks. They will begin to know what comes next and what they need to accomplish. Let them choose their lunches the night before school and put them together on their own. Show them how to put away clothes every time after the laundry is done and allow them to pick as well as dress themselves every morning.
Let them practice their own problem solving skills. Whether it is an argument that the get in with their siblings or they are trying to figure out how to use a toy, don’t step in right away. Encourage them to try and figure it out by themselves. When you do step in, don’t completely solve the problem. Give them a few clues or hints to get them to figure out their own solution to the problem.
Show them how to be assertive. This is as easy as allowing them to order their own food when you are out in a restaurant or even by allowing to choose what they would like to wear. Ask them when they would like to do their homework or even allow them to plan a family night. Give them reasonable choices to choose from and set boundaries. Always let them know what is expected from them and the consequences for not following through.
Don’t feel the need to constantly entertain them. Children are perfectly capable of finding something to do and entertaining themselves. This allows them to flex their imagination muscles and think of creative things to do. During play is when kids learn the best. Allowing them to have freedom to set the pace of their play is very important. Playing with other kids and giving them the freedom to choose what to do also allow them to practice their social skills.