“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
It is in every parent’s nature to care for and support their children through their development. In a busy modern household, it seems easier to step in and do it for your child. However, research has shown that over- involved parents encourage dependence. The best way to develop resilience and confidence in your children is to give them the opportunity and time to do things themselves.
Why is self-independence important?
Allowing your child attempt and try do things themselves creates learning and communication opportunities. Children learn new skills and develop communication through everyday experiences such as family routines, getting dressed, choosing a snack, grocery shopping or playing at the park.
Developing self-independence fosters your child’s ability to initiate an activity and spontaneously begin communication, play and social interactions.
How can I teach my child self–independence skills?
Create opportunities for your child to communicate by:
- Not anticipating your child’s needs
- Allowing your child to ask for help
- Offering choices instead of deciding for them (e.g. give them choices of clothing)
- Letting your child ask for more rather than offering more or all to him/her
- Giving your child time to respond: Waiting allows processing time and time for problem solving
Create opportunities for your child to learn by:
- Breaking up to simple step(s): Start with the last step, help your child put their foot in the shoe then let your child stick the Velcro straps on.
- Making mistakes and fixing them through trial and error: Talk them through problem solving
- Repetition: Doing it a few times help learn new skills
If you have questions about how to encourage your child to be self-independent, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some useful sites:
Less anxiety for independent kids bu KidsMatter
Teach boys the processes of independence by Michael Grose https://www.parentingideas.com.au/blog/teach-boys-the-processes-of-independence-2/