3 Helpful Ways to Encourage Independence in your Children
2015 October 07
From the time children become mobile, they are on a quest for independence. It is our job as parents to nurture that need while providing them a safe and encouraging environment. By doing this, our children will grow up to be confident, independent adults.
On the blog, Off Beat Home, parent Katey Sleeveless shared how grateful she is for baby sign language. It helped her and her 18-month-old Lio communicate better and it built his self-esteem. “His signing vocabulary not only helps connect him to the world, but allows him to continue to assert his independence in super healthy, tantrum-less ways. Learning how to communicate with us in a relatively uncomplicated way has made him so happy.”
The key to making this successful for everyone is to provide two choices you can live with. If you throw one in the mix that you don’t like, it’s inevitable that your child will pick that one. Choices as simple as, “Do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt?” or “Do you want milk or juice to drink?” go a long way in the eyes of children. It shows you value their opinion and it gives them some control over their lives.
As children grow, their list of responsibilities will grow based on their age and ability. Having a “chore chart” with a list of tasks like, brush teeth, get dressed, make bed… can be helpful. It gives children a visual reminder of what needs to be done and helps them to keep the tasks more organized. Keep in mind, children are not little adults and they need to be patiently taught about organizing time and the importance of taking care of responsibilities. Pinterest is filled with creative chore charts to use with your youngsters like these: https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=chore+chart
With patience, encouragement and by providing them with the right choices and opportunities, you will instill a strong sense of self-confidence and independence in your children.