Ah, your child is starting to grow up. This is a big thing for the parents and the billions of questions that may be running through your mind. What do I do? How do I help them? When did my child get so big? Where do I go from here?
Well, it is time to take a deep breath and calm your worries because there are ways to help your child become self- reliant. It is important for you to teach them the importance of self-reliance because it helps handle tasks efficiently, grow as an individual, and know how to tackle things independently. While in the beginning as a parent it might be hard to let go, after all these little human beings are your pride and joy, you cant imagine how they will be able to get through life, but take a deep breath and realize that they can. It can be a little hard to come to terms with in the beginning because naturally you’re going to be inclined to do whatever you can to make their life easier, but in the long run you will be actually helping them to face the world, by making them independent.
Here are 10 steps on how to make your child self- reliant.
- Teach them how to be more patient. Huffington Post shares how French kids, as young as 2 or 3 years old, are learning how to bake. Pamela Druckerman in Let Them Eat Cake explains how “with practice, they get better at coping with a bit of frustration and boredom. They don’t expect to get what they want instantly. They can patiently proceed through a simple recipe.” This is important because we want to see our kids know that things take time, and that they may not always get what they want. It is a lesson that will allow them to grow up and become more independent.
- Let them do tasks independently. Of course, you can watch over them but don’t do everything for them. Let them pick up their own bag. They will learn much quicker and better if their actions lie in their own hands. Whether it is with making food, getting their things together, or learning things like tying their shoes.
- Let them make their own decisions. Choosing what to do, what type of food to eat, what color- this all factors into them seeing how important it is to do things alone.
- Introduce them to household chores. They can help vacuum the house by making it fun, or help washing/mopping. These tasks may seem like a bore, but by singing along (which will also increase their knowledge of words) or creating a dance, they cannot only learn how to be more self reliant but how to multi-task.
- Clean up time! Encourage them to pick up after themselves. After playing with their toys, the kids should put them away back in place. This will make them do more work and also help them with organization.
- Teach them about money. This includes talking to them about the value of money, such as how much each coin or dollar is worth, and what exactly it is.
- Read to them, but also encourage them to try to read alone. When reading to them, ask them questions to actively engage them, such as what they think will happen next or what their favorite part is. This will help their attention to detail and thought processes grow. If they are reading alone, they will take time to work on comprehension and independency well.
- Always show that their efforts are noticed. You are teaching them how to become more self- reliant, but they must always know how loved they are. It will only inspire them to work harder.
- Make sure they talk about situations- why they did something, what they could have done better, and what they will do next time. Whether it is a problem or something positive, it is very good to have discussions because children learn better when they can talk about things.
- Understanding reality. Have them think about the reality of everyday situations. Little children can tell the difference between right and wrong sometimes better than adults can, and they often treat each other better because of this. To have an understanding of good morals and no judgment is a huge step for becoming more self-reliant.
Don’t worry if you or your child has trouble adjusting to these major changes in the beginning because it will all fall into place. You will be proud to see your child grow independent, and they will learn to grow and be thankful for you helping them reach that point.