Encouraging your child to be independent will play a very important role in their character as an adult. It will give them a sense of responsibility, make them feel respected and improve their overall self-esteem.
It will also help them greatly in their learning journey as they take more initiative to complete tasks on their own.
There are 5 specific things you can do to help them in their day to day lives at home:
1. Consistency is key
If you are not consistent, your child will not think that it is important enough. Any change you need in their behaviour, you have to be consistent in communicating it.
2. Answer questions with discussion
If a child comes and says, “mommy I’m bored”, refrain from suggesting what they can do and instead ask them to give you suggestions on what they could do. This way, the child knows they can think and make decisions on their own. It gives them a sense of responsibility.
Have and encourage a routine. If you don’t have one, your child is likely not to have one either. Children are always watching and learning, they learn best through observation. Praising routine will also help them stick to it.
4. Assign tasks
Assign your child general jobs around the house that you believe they can do well, such as making their own sandwich or folding their own clothes. You can supervise and direct them but give them the independence to do the tasks.
Praise their specific work, but make sure you don’t overpraise. Be sure to encourage the tasks that they are completing on their own.
This should work with all children, but if you have not practiced this while they are young, you will have to mix authority with flexibility in their day to day decision making. It will give them a sense of responsibility and respect.
At Repton Abu Dhabi, we ensure that we instil independence in our students through carefully planned hands-on activities and individual work to improve independent learning.