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Strategies for Promoting Independence in Your Child

As parents, we are forever caught in a loop of making things easier for our children. Until one fine day, when we realise that all that mollycoddling over the years, might just have done them unintended harm.

As parents, we have to learn to let go of our children. One day they will have to leave the nest and go into the world, all on their own. Will they have the wings to fly? Is a question we must all ask ourselves.

Every child is looking for how to be independent, no matter how accustomed they have become to you doing things for them. Before looking at how to help your child become independent, let’s first answer the following question.

Why is it important for every child to be independent?

When searching for the answer to the question above, you will find that there are not one, but several answers. Here’s our list of the top reasons every child needs to be independent.

  1. It builds their Confidence
  2. When children discover that they are capable of learning a new skill, or simply doing things on their own, they are bolstered by a sense of newfound confidence.

  3. It builds their Self-Esteem
  4. Cultivating a sense of independence goes a long way in helping children improve their self-esteem. The thing is, self-esteem is developed at an early age and when a child has faith in their decisions, it only helps reinforce that sense of self-esteem.

  5. It lends them a Voice
  6. Have you wondered that your child might be searching for how to be independent, because they want to step out of your shadow? Being independent helps them strengthen their individuality, and makes them realize that they have a voice concerning the things that affect them.

Strategies for promoting independence in your child

If you’re looking for how to help your child become independent, you need to make a concerted effort to help them ease into independence. Outlined below are some simple things you can do each day, to foster independence in your little ones.

  1. Let them make Mistakes
  2. You read that right. All our lives we try to help our children steer clear of making mistakes. On the contrary, we should encourage them to make more mistakes. It’s certainly one of the most effective strategies to help your child become independent.

    To do: When they make a mistake, tell them that it is all right. Help them brainstorm in an attempt to rectify the issue at hand. Making mistakes helps them develop a growth mindset crucial for overcoming future struggles.

  3. Encourage Discipline through Structure
  4. Did you know that children actually thrive on a sense of routine?

    To do: It’s really far easier for children to make decisions, if they think sequentially. If you set in place for them a structured routine, it will help them to make decisions in a controlled environment. Conversely, in future, when they have a set of goals to achieve, they will curate their own routine to help them achieve those goals.

  5. Offer them a Slice of Freedom
  6. How to make your child more independent, is an issue that is easily addressed by giving them the one thing they crave most: freedom. Freedom within limits, that is.

    To do: You might ask them what they would like to do the coming Sunday, instead of ‘telling’ them. You could ask them if they would like to go to the zoo, or for a picnic. You might want to test your boundaries, and allow them things they might have never done before. Apart from boosting those decision-making skills critical for shaping independence, it helps children believe their needs are respected and valued, too.

  7. Help them become Responsible
  8. Tell your child that if they want to be independent, they have to first learn to be responsible.

    To do: Assign simple, age-appropriate chores to your kids, like setting the table or organizing their cupboards. When they take ownership of the choices they have made, it goes a long way in helping them become responsible, independent individuals.

  9. Give them Space
  10. How will your children learn to become independent, if their parents are constantly hovering around them in the background?

    To do: Give them space. Not too much of it, but enough to help them feel comfortable. The idea is giving them plenty of self-reliance to discover opportunities, without their feeling they are being constantly supervised. For instance, if they find themselves in a conflict with their sibling or friend, let them try to resolve it first, before interceding.

  11. Appreciate their efforts
  12. Want to know how to make your child more independent? Give them a pat on the back for a job well done!

    To do: When they complete a task they have undertaken on their own, you want to give them positive feedback. This will only serve to build their confidence, and help them look eagerly ahead to the future, towards the fulfilment of more goals.

  13. Don’t be a Perfectionist Parent
  14. The last thing you want to do is to over-correct your kids when they have set out to do things on their own.

    To do: This is more of an exercise in what ‘Not to do’. If they have undertaken that task of tidying their cupboard and it falls short of your expectations, don’t correct them. They have already secured victory in their willingness to undertake that responsibility.

  15. Involve them in Simple Household Chores
  16. Sometimes, the best way to empower children to do things on their own, is having them do the same things with you!

    To do: Encourage your kids to help out with simple tasks around the house, like cleaning up toys after playtime and even helping out with laundry.”

Even though our teachers are always around, the environment at EuroKids is conducive to fostering independence in children. We encourage you to follow the tips listed here, to help your children become independent beings who will contribute to the betterment of society.

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