Encourage Your Child to Be More Independent
The most natural urge for any parent is to make sure that their child is safe and has his or her needs met. It is very common for first-time parents to do everything for their child and ensure that nothing is left to chance but there is a unique contradiction in this urge. Parents are expected to take care of their children but they are also meant to raise them to be self-sufficient adults one day. This balancing act actually starts earlier than many people realise and children need to see that they have to do things on their own as well. How do you encourage your child to be more independent? Here a few things you need to start with.
Let Them Try Things
Nothing should fill a parent with joy more than a child trying to do something new. If you child shows initiative and attempts to task then you must do your part in encouraging this in every way possible. It could be something as routine as putting clothes on without any help but it is very important for them that you tell them that they can do it. Sometimes, the initiative might not come from your child but it will be up to you to recognise an opportunity to have your child move ahead and try something new. Tying shoelaces for instance, is a task that many young children have trouble with but asking them to try to do it is important for development.
Learning is a process and it is rarely something that takes place instantly. The key to confident and independent children is letting them to the lesson they need to learn. It can take forever for them to complete a task and they might not do it properly in the end but you must resist the urge to correct them at any stage in the task. If you know that you need to leave the house but your child wants to tie his or her shoelaces, account for this by making extra time and waiting patiently as the shoelace tying takes place. Watching mistakes happen is unbearable for most people but instead of getting and doing the task, try to ask your child questions about how the task is to be done. You can also demonstrate the trickier parts of any task without directly interfering with your child’s abilities. As long as you don’t pressure your child while the task is taking place, he or she should do just fine.
Let Mistakes Happen and Attain Consistency
Frustration is a very large part of being a child and this easily transfers over to the parent. A child doesn’t have the same level of patience or understanding that a parent is going to bring to daily tasks but it will come down to the parent to mitigate any failure. The frustration and not being able to complete a task can turn into a very emotional reaction from your child. You have to be encouraging even with a frustrated child and an incomplete task. Once you calm your child down and try the task again, the result should be attainable. After the initial attempts at a new task, it is normal for children lose some enthusiasm but you can keep them engaged with encouragement. Your child needs to be comfortable with the task so that it can be done consistently. Again, this requires a great deal of patience and not everything will work right away but the process is time-consuming.
Ultimately, children grow into more confident and self-sufficient individuals when they begin taking on their own tasks early. A child that wants or thrives on responsibility will continue to nurture good habits and depend less on parental help. Start encouraging your children to do small tasks as soon you think they are ready and both you and your child will surely benefit from the experience.