11 Everyday Habits to Make Your Child More Independent
Parents often ask themselves: "How can I make my child more independent?"
The short answer is to start small - it's a lot easier to set your child up with good habits than it is to break any bad ones.
This article will provide 10 everyday habits that parents can do to make their child more independent and let them learn how the world works on their own terms.
1. Treat them like a human being
We all know that children are not just smaller versions of adults, but they're different than us too.
They don't think the same way we do and their brains aren't fully developed yet, so it's important to treat your child as an individual capable of both making their own decisions and understanding how things work in this world.
2. Respect their privacy
Sure, you want to be involved with everything your kid does at home, but once they transition back into school-life, there should be some boundaries set regarding time spent on homework, after school activities, etc. - especially when those activities take place outside the house because, again - it’s about respect for each other's personal space.
3. Give them time to breathe and learn about the world around them
Even if you're not allowing your child to have a lot of free time on their own, it's good for them to know that they can spend some time exploring the world with their eyes and ears wide open.
This will help them build a better understanding of their surroundings and teach them how to be more observant.
You can do this by taking them on walks around the neighborhood - just you and him or her, so they can learn about nature as well as any new things that have popped up since last time.
If it's not possible for you to take your child outside, try playing games inside where they're forced to look at something other than a screen.
4. Have a chore list for the week and assign each day's chores
Parents are, by design, responsible for their own chores and so should kids as they get older.
Assigning a day's worth of tasks is good because it gives your child some independence when figuring out how they want to spend their time.
When you assign different housework activities to each day, it shows them the importance of keeping the household running smoothly and also that everyone has responsibilities at home - not just parents!
Maybe even write down every single task on a piece of paper each day before going to bed and let your child choose what they want to accomplish for themselves during the following day.
This is great practice for your child in making future decisions about studying for tests, juggling friendships vs. family obligations, etc. - whatever choices our children make, we have to respect them.
5. Give them responsibility by letting them make dinner one night a week
This doesn't mean sitting there, watching your child cook - in fact, it's better if you're not hovering over them the entire time.
Let them try out their own recipes on their own without being too critical about how things turn out. Practice makes perfect, right?
Sometimes, allowing kids to figure things out all by themselves is a great way of helping them learn how certain skills are developed with practice.
Many parents make dinner together as a family every night because they think it brings everyone closer together at the end of the day, but maybe what really does that is letting each member know that they have something valuable to contribute to the overall success of a meal.
6. Let them take care of their own bedtime routine (bath, brushing of teeth, reading, etc.)
Teaching kids how to take care of their own stuff is a great way for them to get familiar with the importance of doing so.
They don't have to do it all by themselves, but if they can brush their teeth or read books on their own without your help, you might find that by the time bedtime rolls around again, your little one will be able to fall asleep faster because they know exactly what their night-time routine consists of.
This also shows kids that being independent means not always having somebody else's help - sometimes just figuring out how something works is good practice for things like studying hard at school, maintaining friendships, etc.
It builds confidence and makes them feel like they can take on the world!
Even though we want our kids to be independent, not everything is about letting go completely - it's all in knowing how much space you need before your child feels comfortable doing things by themselves.
7. Teach your child how to set a table
This is a good one for all children to learn because it is one of the many daily chores you do as an adult.
Teaching your child how to set a table is showing them that they are capable of taking on many different tasks in life and sometimes, you have to start small before moving onto bigger things like making dinner or doing laundry.
It's always good practice for kids (and adults!) to learn new skills because it keeps the brain active and helps us feel more confident in tackling challenges that come our way, especially as we get older.
One of those daily habits you might not think about is making sure your child learns to set a table correctly - it's definitely one habit worth instilling!
Teach them how to properly place knives, forks, spoons, and plates on the table, depending on where they are sitting.
It can be challenging at first but once your child gets it down pat, you'll know that they're not only capable of taking care of themselves in many ways (including when dining out or eating with friends), but also that their future success is up to them!
8. Show them how to do the laundry
This is a great life skill that will continue to serve your child well long after he or she has left the nest.
It's important for kids to learn how to do their own laundry because one day, they might have a family of their very own and learning this from an early age can help them avoid problems when it comes time for everyone in the household doing his/her clothes at once!
I know sometimes we all just want our children to grow up fast so that things get easier but then, before you know it ,it'll be too late !
Letting go with love doesn't mean not caring about what happens next - It simply means trusting your little one enough to show him or her everything s/he needs along the way.
9. Let them choose what they want to wear every day
Even if your child doesn't have a big budget to shop with or just isn't into fashion, letting them choose what clothes they want to wear every day allows them the freedom to define who they are and also feel good about themselves.
Kids like having choices and even though you might think it's cute when their outfits match (or coordinate), it's important to let them make their own fashion choices because it helps build self-esteem and also teaches your child that they are in control of how s/he views the world.
10. Allow children to be bored and explore their surroundings without supervision
It's a fact of life that sometimes, we have to sit and do nothing for awhile.
When children are young, they often find themselves under the watchful eye of a parent or caregiver but as your child gets older, it is important to allow him/her time alone in order to explore their surroundings without direct supervision.
This is a good time to teach your child how to self-regulate and understand what is and isn't appropriate within the limits of their own space.
Sometimes we all need free time in order to recharge but it's also important for children to learn how to do this on their own if necessary!
It builds independence , problem solving skills, and confidence.
11. Let them use their own money for small purchases
This teaches kids to save their money and also that there is value in spending it wisely, and not just on things they want. Parents should make sure the purchases are age appropriate though!
We hope you found this list helpful. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to reach out!