One of the biggest challenges for parent and teachers today is that children are not independent enough and find it hard to take responsibility for their own actions and behaviours and ‘problem solve’ everyday issues on their own.
Therefore, the belief is that the most important goal for any parent today should be to raise independent and self-reliant young people who are generally better equipped to do well both academically and socially.
But, independence is not something that your children can gain by themselves. It is, in fact, a gift you give your children they will cherish and benefit from for their entire lives.
Most of us are guilty of keeping time for our children by constantly reminding them where they need to be next and what they need to do to get ready and what to bring. The problem is, as well as leaving us feeling frustrated and exhausted, our children become reliant on us to think for them and so when they go to school, they are not used to being organised or self-sufficient.
Top tips to bringing up more independent and responsible children:
Awareness is the first step to giving back the control of timekeeping – have a think about a normal day; what do you do for your kids on a daily basis. What reminding and telling them to get ready do you use?
Have a chat with your child (even toddlers like to be involved in ‘helping’) about what they can start doing more of; Pack PE kit, school bag, snack, water bottle, uniform ready the night before etc.
Write or draw a chore chart together and have it visual for everyone to see.
With younger children, it helps to include a preparation stage where you guide and support them by doing it together to begin with, until they become able to do it by themselves. It can be difficult but try to make it a positive experience by praising them and telling them how great, big and helpful you think they are.
Having more responsibilities teaches our children to be part of a society where everyone needs to share the workload and this helps to prepare them for real life. This in turn boosts their confidence, as they are trusted to do something for themselves and for others.
Giving a child responsibility is a great way to positively discipline and increase independence without shouting and nagging.
Yes I know it is often quicker and less hassle to do it yourself and if we are a bit of a controlling parent then it is even harder to ‘allow’ them to take over as it may not be done to our standard or at our speed. But the benefits are huge in the long run to both us, as parents, and most of all, to our children.
Above all, praise your child every time you see them being self-motivated and attempting to help or do things by themselves – even if you think it was just a small obvious thing.
We, at ParentingSuccess, wish you good luck
If you need help with bringing up independent children or any other parenting issues, please just give us a call or visit our website for more information.
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LinkedIn: Mette Theilmann