All parents want their children to thrive in life and eventually become independent people we can be proud of. However, raising children to be independent isn’t always easy, especially as it’s natural for you to want to protect your kids and let them depend on you for support or basic needs. Even though it’s certainly not an overnight task, it is important to actively help your children to grow and flourish into confident, independent individuals. Here are our top tips for raising your child to be independent.
1.Give Them Responsibilities
A wonderful place to start when it comes to raising independent children is giving them more responsibilities. Start small by giving them some household chores depending on their age and how focused they can be. Tasks such as sweeping floors, washing dishes or setting the table are great places to start. Once they can achieve these you can gradually build up to some bigger responsibilities such as walking the dog, doing the laundry or making breakfast. Having these simple duties will not only boost their levels of self-confidence but will teach your child valuable life skills, the importance of hard work, responsibility, and respect for themselves and others.
2. Allow Your Child To Make Small Decisions
Letting your child have the freedom to make their own decisions in smaller aspects of their life will give them a sense of independence. Whether it’s what clothes they want to wear, what fun activity they want to do or what they fancy for breakfast, it’s important they gradually start to have a say and feel like a valued family member.
3. Let Your Child Complete Homework Independently
As parents it’s a good idea to try and get out the habit of telling your children what homework they should be doing and when they should be doing it. Instead, set out a specific time each day for studying and gradually let your child handle their own responsibilities during this session. Not having someone nagging them and letting them be in charge of their own homework will teach them how to work independently, meaning eventually they won’t rely on you for help with school work. Even though it might be difficult, creating this independent environment and letting your child figure things out on their own allows them to use their own mind and help them realise their own capabilities to solve problems and accomplish tasks.
4. Let Them Make Mistakes
All children are going to fail and make mistakes, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Instead allow them to make these mistakes so they can learn from them and become more independent as a result. It’s also important as parents to be vocal about your confidence in their abilities and tell them how proud you are of them for trying. You could even suggest things they could try next time or ask them to try and recognise where they think they went wrong.
5. Teach Kids To Solve Problems
It’s completely normal for children to face many problems while they’re growing up, such as not completing their homework on time, spending all of their pocket money in one day, or falling out with friends. It’s normal for parents to want to ‘fix’ everything, however, it’s much more beneficial to try and help your child identify the problem and come up with a few solutions. We recommend following these simple steps:
- Identifying the problem
- Coming up with more than one solution
- List the pros and cons for each solution
- Encourage your child to choose one solution
Doing this together will help your child learn problem-solving skills and over time they’ll become confident in finding their own solutions without your help.
6. Teach Your Child To Think Independently
The success of your children as they grow up will often depend on how well they can think on their own and in what way they come up with solutions from their independent thinking. Encourage your kids to get into the habit of thinking about things carefully and forming their own opinions. Do this by asking them what they think about certain topics or simply asking open ended questions when talking together. It’s also important they can talk freely without judgement, so remember to always be open-minded and encourage them to be the same.