As a parent, as much as you would like to do everything for your children, they will need to learn to do things themselves, on their own, with little help, or without any help sooner or later. Being independent in small ways and doing things on their own is a part of ‘growing up’ for the child. Now you might think what would a preschool going child possibly do on his/her own. If you sit and think, there are a lot of things that children can manage to do on their own, provided you as a parent are willing to let loose and teach them. Will it take time and efforts? Yes. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.
It is not going to happen overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? Children will take time to begin doing things on their own. But they will understand the value of doing things on their own and not depending on you or someone else to do it for them. By being independent, your child will learn to make choices on their own. Let them take responsibility for their choices even if it’s picking between two of their favourite snacks to eat. Begin with small decisions. This will make them understand the importance of freedom of choice. Parents are often worried about the security of their child and hence often try to control everything he/she does. There’s a very thin line between dependence and security. Parents need to trust their parenting, take a leap of faith, and let the child explore. It will lead to him/her feeling competent, equipped, and independent to achieve anything.
Here are 5 ways you can make your child independent:
Make time:If you know that your child takes fifteen minutes to finish breakfast on her own, start the day fifteen minutes earlier, but let her finish breakfast on her own. Do not help the child. The worst possible outcome is that she may take some more time or drop something. That will not be the end of the world. If you don’t let your child do things on her/his own, they will never be able to do so.
Have realistic expectations:Just because you do the task in a certain way does not mean your child will do it the exact same way. They are called kids for a reason. Do not criticize if the child can’t wipe a small utensil spotless dry. Atleast the child is trying. Appreciate that.
Give tasks they can do:You cannot expect your child to directly learn how to make food. Instead, ask them to mix up a salad for you. Give them all the ingredients and let the child mix it for you. Let him begin doing independent tasks for himself. This means let him brush his teeth or shower once a day on his own. Little steps make a lot of difference.
Don’t let failure dishearten them:If your child is unable to do a task, do not let her get disheartened. Teach her how failure is a part of life and that it is only a stepping stone, a small delay in the path to success. Making mistakes is the best way to get better at a task.
Take the child into consideration:Just because you are on the quest of making your child independent, do not pressurize them into doing things they can do some other time. For example, if your child is extremely tired or had a long day at school or is feeling a bit sick, let him rest. If she offers to do something small, help her with it.
By making choices on their own, children will gain confidence in their decisions and choices which will, in turn, lead to the development of self-esteem in them. By inculcating independence in your preschooler, you will be raising a child who isn’t afraid to explore or make decisions. Show confidence in your child’s capabilities. Trusting your children is the first step in making them independent.