How To Raise Independent Kids

ByJerni Camposano-GomezNovember 22, 2022
Independent child folding her own blanket
Parents differ in parenting style, but all of us have a hard time letting go of our grown children. One day, they were our precious newborns. Before we know it, time has passed so quickly and we find ourselves asking “Where did my baby go?”.
But such is life, mama. As they grow, our kids become increasingly independent and they need us less and less. Don’t confuse this with not being needed at all. It’s just that their needs are different and they are more capable of managing their life.
Before your child makes their way out of the nest (*ugly cry) and flies on their own, raise them to be independent and confident about their life choices. Here are a few strategies:
1. Train them to be problem solvers.
Problem solving is an important skill in building a child’s learning capacity. They need such skills to arrive at a solution. Do not easily give them answers or the easy way out — kids have more skills than we give them credit for. Training them to be problem solvers begins when they are very young. Opt for toys that encourage them to think critically and challenge their creativity and imagination, such as puzzles, wooden and soft blocks, and stacking cups.
2. Give them opportunities to make decisions.
Our children will be making a lot of important decisions in their lifetime, so it’s only a must for us to ensure they have the skills to make wise and better choices. Start them young by involving them in everyday decisions: from picking and matching their clothes to create their outfit for the day to as simple as choosing between apple or orange juice for their school baon. The key is to let them know they do have a choice so give them chances to practice making these decisions.
3. Let your child make mistakes and learn from them.
It’s almost automatic for us to worry when our kids fall from a climbing frame or hurt themselves from handling a toy. Our instinct as parents is to protect them, even to the point of “babying” them. But we should also remember that they learn lessons from making mistakes. Create a loving and reassuring environment at home that reminds them that mistakes can be opportunities to learn — that they don’t have to be perfect, that they can dust themselves off and start again after falling down. When they encounter the same situation, they know how to deal with them and make better judgments.
4. Do not be a helicopter parent.
Your child will struggle to become independent if you keep being a helicopter parent — always fighting your child’s battles, being over-involved in their affairs, not letting them do things on their own. You need to draw the line between being supportive and controlling. You do not want your child to be too dependent on you. The goal is for them to be able to handle things on their own without a parent hovering over them all the time.
5. Create a routine.
Children often fear the unknown, so a regular routine gives them a sense of comfort and security. A daily schedule and consistent routines — getting ready in the morning, bedtime rituals, household chores and assignments — make them feel in control of and are familiar with their environment. This trains them to become responsible and in turn, build their confidence.
It is hard to let go, mama. But you have to learn to let go to allow them to grow and become independent and self-reliant. Trust that it will benefit your child in the long run.
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