Kids rarely know the betterment of being independent and it is something they can’t gain their own. They have neither the sense of responsibility, knowledge, skill set to do things individually. Infact the word independent is alien to them. They hardly understand why it’s important to do things on time and what accountability is.
A child look up to their parents for every little thing from waking up to dressing them up, feeding them, helping them with homework, brushing and many other ways. But as they grow up, it’s a responsibility of a parent to make their children self reliant and independent. Teaching few basic things in day to day life will ease things for you as well.
When I was small, I was completely dependent on my mother for each and every activity but gradually my mom stopped pampering me and taught me to do things my own. She started guiding me how to brush my teeth, change my clothes, packing my school bag, polishing my shoes and inculcated small habits which became a part and parcel of my life. She made me independent.
Often kids are receptive to change, they may not listen to you in the beginning or makes more chaos in the but its okay, don’t lose your calm. It’s an effort initially but it’s your job to build a sense of independence amongst them. Your kids are small child today but they are growing, not just physically but mentally and emotionally also. If you as a parent indulge some habits in your toddler from the start, they will be in a much better position to handle their middle-age or youth.
They should be given enough freedom to observe things their own and develop self confidence.
How to teach your children to be independent:
1. Trust them: Start trusting your small ones and ensure that they choose and take decisions of their life, like doing their homework first or to play first. If they want to watch TV and later prepare for their exam let them. This will increase their self esteem and confidence in their choices. They will have a better understanding about how to prioritize things. Introducing decision making at an early age will boost their decision making power, not necessary they will always take a right decision but if they fail they will consult you to get the things done in the right manner. This time they will listen to you and follow your advice.
2. Stop spoon-feeding: It’s a strict no-no. I am just not referring about feeding your child but as a parent we should stop intervening in every activity your child is doing. Just because your child is very slow in finishing the task and making a lot of mistakes don’t mean you will interfere in between. This will set a very bad example as they will always fall back on you if they will make a mistake even without putting an effort.
3. Don’t judge them: Performing things their own is not easy for a child. They may not perform the way you want them to, so take it easy. Don’t judge too soon, your toddler is in a seeking mode. In the growing phase it’s not that only the child grows, parents are growing along with the child.
4. Don’t blame them for failures: Failing is unavoidable, but how you react will make or break your child. Always take care that you are not scolding them for the things gone wrong, guide them in a manner that they learn maximum from the situation. Appreciate them for the efforts they have made. Don’t focus on the failure.
5. Don’t give too many choices to them: Giving your child a plethora of options can make them confuse and they won’t be able to decide. A limited choice in the initial stage makes them understand things very fast and effectively.
6. Make a time table for them: Children may not be efficient enough to do their task in the priority they should. Set a fixed routine for them, once they know what they have to do and at what time, they will adapt it in their daily routine. Initially you have to remind them but soon they will establish a proper routine.
7. Encourage them: You have to encourage your child in every situation. A parent’s support is very important. If they have done anything good, appreciate them. It will boost their confidence. Always praise their efforts and never compare them with others.
8. Let them solve their problems independently: Fights with siblings or friends, school related issues which a child can solve themselves, guide them to do it. Make them aware of the situation from different perspective and how this situation could have been avoided.
The best way to teach your kids require lot of patience and calm. Patience is a skill.