Learning how to instill independence in children allows you to make sure your little one is ready for the future. Encouraging it from a young age helps your child fully develop into a self-reliant adult. Search for the perfect learning opportunities and know when you need to take a step back and let your child flourish!
Find Learning Opportunities
Think carefully about different tasks your child can handle on their own. While a toddler won’t think to brush their teeth, a child in primary school should. Assign different duties to your child ranging from personal responsibilities to chores. You could try having your child:
- Clean up their toys
- Set the dinner table
- Keep track of their school assignments
Another learning opportunity is to have the eldest help watch their siblings if they’re old enough. You don’t have to leave the kids home alone for this. If you have laundry and cleaning to do around the house, ask the oldest child to take charge and watch their siblings.
Children explore the world through play. It allows them to explore various roles without much consequence. Try to remain hands-off when your child plays—whether it’s on their own or with another child. One of the many characteristics of play includes independence.
If you interject yourself too much during playtime, your child will regularly look for this rather than gradually begin making decisions on their own. Kids need to understand how to entertain themselves, especially because you won’t always have time to play with them.
Make a Plan
One part of knowing how to instill independence in children is to avoid having unachievable expectations for children. First, talk to your child about what tasks they feel they’re capable of handling on their own; then, set a schedule so both of you can keep track of this.
Your child may forget to do a chore or two, so you may have to remind them. When your child begins avoiding responsibilities, talk to them about it, and find out why it’s happening. It’s easy to think they lack independence out of laziness, but it’s just as possible there’s a larger problem.
When you make a game plan with your child, work together to decide on what responsibilities they’ll have. Likewise, they should have established consequences for missed chores or other responsibilities. With the right amount of guidance, your child will learn to rely on themselves, but they will also always know you’re there to support them.