How do you teach your child to be independent?
DevelopmentRaising a child
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How do you teach your child to be independent?

Experts agree that today’s children are becoming independent later and later. Parents are to blame for this. So what should they do to change this?

In the 21st century, many parents are overly concerned about their children. All out of love, of course. Adults try to protect their kids from everything. This has its pros and cons. Because of this, many children do not cope in various, even the simplest situations. Many toddlers become hysterical as soon as they lose sight of their mom or dad. They react in the same way when they have to, for example, clean up, dress themselves or put on their shoes. In order to prevent this, it is worth teaching our kids to be independent, but you have to do it wisely

1. Do not do everything for your child

Nowadays we live in the fast lane and that’s why we often do everything for our kids. We assume that we will be able to clean up the house faster, dress them faster, etc. Certainly it is so, but it is worth giving the child some time to do something on its own. It doesn’t have to be perfect, even if cleaning by a child involves even bigger mess, it is worth letting him/her do it. This increases the child’s self-esteem and makes him proud that he can do something on his own. Over time, your child will do chores more efficiently and accurately and will not expect you to do everything for them

2. Appreciate progress and encourage

A child loves it when a parent appreciates them. That’s why it’s important to tell him about it. Praising their progress, even the smallest ones, will motivate them to do better. Then the child will be proud of him/herself and will eagerly get down to further activities. Encourage them to do that, so that they know that we appreciate not only the final result, but also the effort

3. Never compare your child to other children

Nothing is more depressing than being compared to others. This applies to adults as well as children. So telling your child that his cousin or friend can already put on his shoes and you can’t will only discourage him from doing it, and also lower his self-esteem. Comparing is a mistake that can have a huge impact on a child’s psyche, so it should be avoided. It makes the child feel inferior in the eyes of the parent, who is their role model and authority

4. Patiently show the child how to perform a given activity

The child will learn something much faster if we are patient and willing to show him (but not impose) how to do something. If the child doesn’t want our help and wants to try e.g. to put the clothes together – don’t forbid it. You learn from your own mistakes. However, if the child wants us to show him how to do something, it should be done calmly and slowly. The child senses impatience, and this also works demotivating.

5. Take care of how you address your child

Despite appearances, the choice of words can also teach your child independence. Better, instead of the typical question: “Can I help you?”, say “When you need support/help, you can call me”. Then the child gets a little more freedom and feels encouraged to make his own attempts. He/she knows that if it doesn’t work out, he/she will get help, but it’s better to try on your own first. It is also a good idea to tell the child that, for example, we didn’t manage to do something in the past, but after many attempts we succeeded.

6. Be nearby

While teaching the child independence, we do not have to disappear from the child’s sight. The child should see us and be aware that he or she can count on us. The point is that we should be passive observers of some of the actions taken by them. So that we can react in case of any danger and help when it is necessary. However, the child must have a bit of freedom and the ability to make independent decisions.

Main photo: Gabriel Baranski, source: unsplash.com

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