Helping your child become more independent is something every parent thinks about from time to time. Maybe you’re tired of tying shoelaces or maybe you’d just like to encourage your child to be the most capable they possibly can be. Either way, independence comes from practice – whether that practice is based on practical skills or a growing inner confidence is varied. Here are some tips for encouraging independence in your child:
Stop doing everything for them
Children who are spoon-fed (not literally) for too long may not develop independent skills as quickly as those who are helped to learn to manage themselves.
Jobs which many parents automatically do for small children can quite easily be managed by the child. Here are some examples:
- Getting dressed
- Preparing a sandwich
- Tidying up
- Making a bed
- Washing themselves
- Cleaning their own teeth
Some parents simply slip out of babying their child and others find it hard to step away and keep on doing these little jobs for their child long past the age when they could stop.
Children learn fast – if you take time to show your child how to brush their teeth and for how long, they will manage it well in no time. For older children, the responsibilities should be a little harder obviously. Here are some ideas for children of ten and over:
- Walking a dog
- Washing a car
- Washing dishes
- Putting laundry on
- A paper round
- Sweeping, vacuuming and mopping floors
These tasks will help your child to realise that they can undertake more than they might imagine and will also be useful when they go to university. At schools like this London prep school, children are tasked with increasingly challenging responsibilities as they grow and taking on responsibilities at school is a wonderful way to encourage children to become more independent.