Raising independent kids

Encourage them to make choices.

One of our goals as parents is really to raise people who can make good decisions, so beginning early can help foster self-reliance.Toddlers can decide what outfit to wear or what they want for snack. As they get older the decision making will get more sophisticated, of course, yet each decision along the way can give them confidence for the next one. Providing positive reinforcement can help to keep them to stay calm and self-assured in their decision-making ability.

Avoid the urge to rescue them.
Independence means learning to be confident in their decisions. Suffering the consequences of poor decisions is part of that process, because it aids in teaching children how to rationalize their choices. Rescuing our child could have the effect of letting them rely on you to bail them out over and over again.

Do not fuss over the little details.
To inspire independence then there may be times we need to bite our tongues and not sweat the small stuff. For example, when your kids start “making their beds” in kindergarten at your request. At the age of five a child is perfectly capable of pulling up the covers, but probably not if you had
expected the finished product to be perfect.Here is another example. If you encourage a young child to choose her outfit, it is counter-intuitive to request that she change it if she comes out wearing something inappropriate for wherever you are headed. Either let her wear it or have her select from one of a few appropriate outfits.

Give them the tools without doing the work.
As parents much of our job is in the preparation. For example, if they are not taught which foods are healthy, how can we expect them to make healthy choices? If children are going to make a poor decision, hopefully it won’t be because they did not understand their needs or give them all the tools necessary for success. If you have done your part, you can be confident that it is up to them to do the rest. This eliminates the desire to “rescue” kids. It also serves as a reminder
that they can’t get away with blaming others for their blunders.

Give them alone time.
Some parents feel an overwhelming urge to be occupying their child’s every moment with some game or new craft. Yet giving our kids the opportunity to be alone can be incredibly helpful in building their self-esteem. When kids play by themselves they make their own decisions, choosing which books to read, which games to play, or what to do to occupy their time.

Be a role model.
We tend to forget that our kids are learning from our behaviors. Knowing the people we want our children to become should help us to remember who we should be in front of them. If we want our children to be fiercely independent, we need to display that level
of confidence in ourselves too.

share this recipe:

Still hungry? Here’s more