In the world that we are living in today, there is very little space for contingent people. People who depend on others for their needs, feelings, and actions are often bypassed by life-changing opportunities because the people they depend on, including parents, are busy chasing their own dreams. That’s why it’s important to ensure that our kids grow to be independent people who are in control of their lives.
Independence, however, can’t be instilled in a day. It is a gradual process and should start from an early age. If you are wondering how you can help your kid become more independent, here are a few tips to guide you.
Let them make their own choices
Everything we do in our day-to-day lives always has several choices to pick from. Talk of small choices like the clothes to wear in the morning to major ones like which bills to pay first. Let your kids have the privilege of making some choices regarding their lives. Let them decide what to have for breakfast or how to spend their allowances. You can also let the older children pick which college to attend. They should make the career choices on their own. This way you will be helping them be independent thinkers as well as own their choices, which gives them control over their lives.
Make some chores their responsibility
One of the greatest ways to weigh independence on kids is if they can handle age-appropriate chores without any help. You can start by guiding them on doing some daily chores in the house. Once they perfect it, make it their responsibility. Train them on how to make their beds, clean their rooms, and instruct them to do it every day without you reminding them. Gradually, these chores will become a habit that they will carry to adulthood. They will be in the wake of not depending on anyone to tidy up their space.
Let them fix their own problems
The most natural reaction for a parent when a kid runs into a problem is to jump in and help him or her out. It is good to let them figure out how to get out of tough situations on their own. If they accidentally drop a toy and it breaks, allow them to work on fixing it themselves. If they fail in class, allow them to strategize on how they will study more to improve their grades. In as much as possible, refrain from providing solutions and let them be independent thinkers.
Give their opinions some airtime
Start a debate on current news over dinner and ask your kids to give their independent opinions on issues. Encourage them to be vocal on how they feel about certain issues and really listen to them. This exercise is especially good for kids who have a speech problem. By letting them express themselves, you will be helping them build their confidence in their speech. You can enroll for speech therapy for adults so that you can be guided on the right questions to ask such a kid as well as be able to help them form their answers. Your kids will learn how to opinionated on issues independently without the influence of other people.
Help them learn important information
It gets to an age that children need to know certain information regarding themselves and their families and commit them to memory. Such details include their age, home address and telephone numbers among others. This can, however, be challenging for kids with speech problems. To help such kids, you can make it fun and engaging by using songs or games. As the kid sings the syllables, the information will be stored in memory. It will be a matter of time that they will be reciting their home address without any help. After they start growing you have to inform them about more complex facts and ideas. Such as how to take care of themselves when they’re home alone, what to do in moments of emergency, what kind of smartphones to use, which SIM-only contract to choose, how to buy airline tickets and so on.
Let them take charge of their schedules
With our lives getting busier by the day, important dates and appointments can easily go unnoticed. It would greatly help you as a parent if your kids were able to remember such dates without your help. You can help them become more independent in this area by giving them a calendar and letting them mark out the dates. Remind them each day to check if there is an appointment to attend or a play date scheduled or a birthday. As they grow older, this habit will be ingrained in them and they will always know where they are needed at any given time.
As you help your children become more confident, it’s advisable to hide the perfectionist card. It can be frustrating at time and patience-testing, but allow them to make mistakes so they don’t freak out on doing some things on their own.