by Jennifer Shakeel
There are children that are born that are just naturally independent, and there are other children that are less independent. As children grow we as parents need to encourage them to be independent. We want to know that when they are grown and on their own that they will be able to take care of themselves. Regardless of how old or young your child is, it is never to early or too late to encourage them to do things on their own.
Idea One: Don’t Give Answers Provide Direction
This applies more to school age children who are coming home with homework. I think it is natural for all children to ask for help with their homework… but to a good chunk of children help means they want you to give them the answers. Part of this is because we as parents want to make things easier for our kids so that they don’t get discouraged. In doing so though, we are taking away their independence.
This doesn’t mean you can’t help them. But only help, provide them direction and don’t give them the answer. For example, “How do you spell _____?” We don’t spell the word for our children. Instead we ask, “How do you think you spell it?”
Idea Two: Encourage Them to Try it On Their Own
Some kids will demand the chance to do things on their own. “Let me do it!” I am sure is something that we have all heard at one time or another. When they want to do it on their own, let them. For example the first time they want to dress themselves for school… or for the day, let them… and then let them wear what they put on. Hopefully it matches, and if it doesn’t then say, “Honey, that doesn’t really match are you sure you want to wear it?” Their answer is going to be yes, and they are going to tell you how it matches… let them wear it. Trust when I tell you that as they get older, you will say more than once to them, “Really, that is what you are wearing today?” I call it the hazards of teenagers and their taste in clothes.