It is a joy when parents see their children become independent and grow up to meet their desired goals. This occurs as a result of years of hard work and guidance.
Many parents find it tough to watch a child wrestle with a problem or be unhappy. Young children hardly understand the idea of doing things on time and being responsible for their actions. Parents try to protect their children, which is a natural reaction to the situation.
However, this situation presents an opportunity for parents to teach their children a valuable lesson in responsibility and be independent. Parents often ponder how to make kids self-reliant in the right way without coming across as a punishment.
Getting your child to become self-reliant is a gradual process. It does bring satisfaction as you see your child become independent. Here are practical ways to help your child become independent
1. Give responsibilities gradually
It takes time to be the best at any activity, likewise being independent. Start with little responsibilities that are age-suitable. You can start by letting them pick chores they feel they can handle. Further, this will increase their willingness to try.
As your children begin to take responsibility, they feel like part of the team running the family. Moreover, your children become more confident, which encourages them to want to do even more.
Get your child to make a list of duties they think they can handle and assign them this task in bits. For example, they can handle chores related to cleaning their room and tidying up the bed.
Older kids can babysit younger ones and toddlers. As your child handles their responsibility well, you can give them a more important task.
2. Allow them to make personal decisions
A great way to help your child become independent is by allowing them to make some decisions. The ability to make a correct decision is important in all aspects of life. Teach your child how to process information that influences their choices.
Encourage your child to tell you what they think about issues on current events. Allow some degree of freedom to your child, but this should be in the appropriate situations.
For instance, allow your child to choose what time they would like to play and what snack they prefer to eat.
Helping your child make a better decision can also mean they get the benefits or repercussions of their action. Do not try to rescue him by paying off his debts or making excuses for him. However, let him feel the effect, and the lesson will be long-lasting.
3. Set a good example
Children tend to copy a lot of their parents day to day actions. So, set a pattern in this regard. It will be very hard to convince your child to be efficient in their responsibilities if you are not.
Granted, nobody is perfect. All of us feel overburdened at times. But your example is probably the best way to help your children see the value of responsible behavior.
On occasion, you can take your child with you to work and see what your job entails.
Engage in charity or community work where your child can accompany you. Then, discuss the satisfaction you received from caring for that responsibility.
As your child sees how important you take your responsibilities, this will have a knock-on effect on them. It will help your child to become more independent.
4. Be patient and sensible
Do not expect perfection from your kids as they learn to take on responsibilities. This undue pressure can cause anxiety for them. Instead, be realistic in your expectations. You should know the task that is suitable for your child.
Always support your child’s effort and help them to succeed. Engaging in new roles might take your child out of his comfort zone and might need some time to adjust.
Avoid being overly critical or be quick to scold your child when he makes a mistake. Instead, show or share a working solution that can help resolve the problem.
Your words should be encouraging when they find a task challenging. Moreover, give commendation for work well done.
5. Teach them life skills
Many adults can attribute some of their life skills to a parent’s teaching. This further shows the importance of providing guidance and lessons from an early age.
Your child should be fully responsible for some situations. However, you can provide a different perspective on the situation. For example, when he disagrees with his friends, he should be the one to resolve it.
Teaching your child hands-on skills will be beneficial now and in the future. For instance, you can teach your child plumbing techniques. This skill can come in handy in the home as he can help to fix blocked pipes and drainage. While in later time he can get paid even on a part-time basis if he decides to use this skill.
6. Provide routine and structure
Your child’s new responsibilities can be overwhelming. Try to soften the effect. You can also help your child become independent by planning a fixed routine. You can get the best result if you allow them to plan the activities themselves while supervising.
Providing structured routines will serve to be a safety net for your kids. Let your child write down important dates and appointments in a calendar. This will help him learn to keep appointments.
Practice with your child the steps necessary to overcome the challenges. Manifest your belief in the child’s ability.
If you continue to protect your children from difficulty, you may hinder their ability to take on life’s challenges. Instead, encourage your children by raising them to accept responsibility. Doing so will be one of the most treasured gifts you can give them.
In summary, It might seem easier and quicker to do things for your children instead of allowing them to do it themselves. However, children need to learn how to perform a task on their own if there are to be independent.
Helping your child become independent from an early age helps them develop a sense of responsibility and accomplishment.
Knowing how to perform a task and having basic skills will help them tackle new situations better as they grow older. It might be difficult for both you and our child initially, but it is surely rewarding to see your child become more self-reliant.