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With the onset of becoming a parent, our life changes completely and starts revolving around our children. Our children mean the world to us and we want to do our best for them. However, in our attempt to do everything for them, many a times, we are unable to balance out the things in the right manner.
Certainly, when infants, children are totally dependent on their parents be it bathing, cleaning, wearing clothes, feeding, mobilizing, etc. However, as and when children grow, their dependence on parents starts decreasing as they learn to do things on their own depending on the developmental stage they are in.
For example, as soon as a child reaches toddlerhood, he or she wants to do things on their own. They want to eat their food on their own. They want to pick up their things by themselves, and so on. This a good sign. It indicates that the child is active, wants to learn and is trying to become independent. Parents should take cue from this and stop doing everything for the kids from that moment. Let the children do things on their own, under the close supervision of the parent of course. Let them explore their surroundings, let them handle things by themselves, let them create a mess of things, let them be them. Because if you don’t let them, how will they learn to do things on their own? How will they become independent? How will they become confident of themselves? How will they get the sense of achievement?
In the present world, parents try to spend maximum time with their children. They believe that the more time, energy, attention, and money they can devote to their children, the better. They want to do more, not less, for their children. But this is not right.
The aim of parenting should be to imbibe moral values like, love, care, honesty, hard work, etc in the children and make them confident and independent adults. This can be achieved only if parents -
Here are some tips for teaching children to be more independent:
1. Identify opportunities –
Make a list of things that you feel your child is capable of doing by himself or herself. Involve the child while making the list and get to know the opinion of the child as well. It is likely to make the child more confident about themselves and will increase their willingness to try as well.
2. Make ample time for the task –
Generally, in the morning we are always in hurry and thus in order to get the child ready, we generally do all their tasks by ourselves as that saves time. But that won’t be fruitful in long run. In order to make the child independent, we need to let the child do things by themselves which they are capable of. Thus it is better to wake up early and have ample time available for the child to do their chores independently on their own. Don’t micro-manage the situations unnecessarily.
3. Forget perfection –
Consider your child as an explorer who is trying his hands at everything and making a mess of things around you. So accept the fact and stop panicking if things don’t end up well. Accept that she won’t do the task as well as you. Help the child clean up the mess without criticism and assure her it happens to everyone.
4. Praise the effort –
Instead of pointing out the mistake, praise the child for the amount of effort put in by them in doing the task. Show them that you are confident that the child will be able to do the task correctly the next time.
5. Negotiate and compromise –
Many a times, a child does not want to do things by herself even though she is capable of doing it independently. In such a situation, compromise and inject some fun. For example, say, “for a few days, I will help you wear your socks and you will wear the shoes on your own and then we will jump to see how happy your feet are. “
6. Be flexible –
If the child is tired, sick, stressed or adjusting to a change, it’s not the time to introduce new responsibilities. And don’t be discouraged if they regress, wanting you to do a task after they have mastered it. This is normal. Temporarily sharing the load can help them bounce back more quickly than if you scold or criticize them.
7. Give them chance -
Don’t rush to solve minor problems when they crop up. Encourage your child’s problem-solving skills by asking if she can come up with a solution. Give her time to think before offering up your ideas.
As has been rightly said by Walt Streightiff – “There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” So let your children explore the world. Make them independent! Make them confident!! Make them successful!!!