Raising independent kids
No one wants to think about it but there’ll come a time when your child is not going to have you by their side at all times, and it’s never too early to start preparing your child for it. The time when they clung onto you for dear life will soon become a memory, and it’s not a bad thing. There will come equally precious moments, which involve watching your child excel at something he didn’t ask your help for.
1. Assign small jobs
Start small and give your child an easy task to do, like putting the milk coupons out the door or dropping off some stuff at your neighbor’s house. It may seem small but when your child sees that instead of doing it yourself, you trust them enough to delegate the task to them, it increases their self confidence and leaves them feeling important.
As children grow older, take them with you while paying bills or attending an appointment, ensuring that they get the exposure while showing them how it’s done.
2. Don’t always be there to catch them
As parents, one of the hardest things to do is watching your child fail, and what’s even harder is knowing you had the power to stop it. But understand that failing is the best way to learn. They need to know that they can’t always rely on you to protect them, and they have to stand up on their own. It could be the first fall in the playground or their first heartbreak. Be there to watch from a distance.
3. Leave them alone
It may seem scary, but try leaving them home alone once they’re old enough. It’s the safest place to begin as they already have a sense of familiarity. Send them for sleepovers and let them commute alone. As they grow older, send them out for summer camps or school trips. They need to learn how to get things done using their discretion.
4. But not too alone
There’s a very thin line but don’t put your child in a new environment all of a sudden, make sure it’s a gradual process, especially if they are heavily accustomed to home comforts. It may cause them to panic and lead to unnecessary dangers.
Also ensure that your child isn’t misusing the freedom given to them when you encourage their activities. Maintain the right level of control without being too intrusive. Make sure they can always talk to you without feeling like they failed to do something by themselves.
However small the achievement may be, always make sure to praise and appreciate your child. It provides them with the incentive to keep trying and to succeed.
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