Ways to raise an independent child.

A lot of parents complain that their children can’t do anything for themselves- here are some tips to help

I've listened to a lot of parents complain that their children can’t do anything for themselves and are unable to look after their basic needs for their age. However, I think to myself, why that is?
Are parents unknowingly causing their child to be too dependent on them to do everything for them, and what can parents do to stop the cycle? Here are a few tips I've discovered to help you raise an independent child. I've learned from experience!
  • Create routines- If your children know what their usual routines are it will help them to become self-sufficient and confident in looking after themselves when they need to. A house with little routine will only cause your kiddies confusion and they may struggle to adapt to the ever changing structure.
  • Let them be involved in conversations- It is important to remember that while kids are kids they also are incredibly intuitive and intelligent little people. Youngsters are well able to be included in age appropriate conversations and it should be encouraged that they do so, it will enable them to be self-assured and articulate.
  • Have a kid friendly house- If you want your nippers to do things for themselves your home should enable them to do so, for instance chairs can be heightened to allow the kids to help with dinner. Put steps in the bathroom around the sink so your kids can look after brushing their teeth and washing their hands without assistance. Remember that any little independence they show should be applauded even if they need to work on it at times.
  • Encourage them to be self-sufficient- Be their personal cheer leader pushing them to do things for themselves and pat them on the back regularly to show your support. They may not have sliced their banana perfectly but at least they are trying to learn new skills, and your kid may not do their own homework perfectly but check it over afterwards and correct their mistakes without demeaning their efforts.
  • Allow them to make mistakes and learn from them- All children make mistakes and as a parent you need to allow them to do so. Protecting them from everything will only lessen their abilities to be independent especially when the time comes and they are off to college without an iota about the real world. Be frank with your kids as they grow up, teach them how to use the washing machine and the dryer, sure if they can work tablets and other devices why not a washing machine? Show them how to sort their clothes and let your kids help prepare meals at home, as they get older and hit their teens let them make meals regularly. Let them learn, teach them and show them how to be independent. 
  • Let them free but keep them close- One day your kids will need to be set free and have to stand on their own two feet but let your children know that you are there if they ever need you. Of course you want them to be independent but we all need our parents now and again - whatever your age!
Written by Emma, staff writer with www.familyfriendlyhq.ie

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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