From the moment our children are born, we’re provided advice on how bittersweet it will be to watch them grow. With each new task they master, it becomes painfully obvious how they seemingly need us less and less with each passing day.
When raising an independent child, this can become even more difficult. You may wish to continue helping them do simple daily tasks but independent children would prefer you allow them to do things on their own. It can be heartbreaking to realize you’ve helped your baby make their lunch for the last time, or that you’ll no longer have to help them with bath time, but these moments are opportunities for exponential growth, especially for children who crave independence.
Give Children the Tools and Space They Need to Flourish
Children who are given the supportive environment to embrace independence tend to become self-sufficient earlier in life. They also have a tendency to be less reliant on their parents as a whole. This all lends itself to greater long term success as they continue to forge their own path.
Spending time by themselves, independent learning activities, and completing self-care tasks on their own typically doesn’t come with difficulty for independent children. This may mean that encouraging group activity or intervening with their activities can cause some unnecessary tension. Allowing children the ability to independently explore age-appropriate tasks – and more importantly encouraging them – will prove to be far more beneficial for them in the end.
Encourage Independence and Provide Opportunities
Independent tendencies must be encouraged. When children show the initiative to attempt to do a task themselves, fight the parental instinct to intervene. It may be easier, take less time, or less messy if you were to offer them help but allowing them to do it will not only teach them how to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to complete the task successfully, but it will also provide them with a sense of accomplishment and pride. As these independent tendencies flourish, your child will begin to crave the accomplishment that new tasks provide them.
Challenge your child to grow their independence by providing them with additional tasks and increasing responsibilities. Doing something as simple as giving your child their own daily chores will encourage a sense of time management, accountability, and encourage development of understanding responsibility. Difficult as it may be to loosen your grip, this will promote the development of confidence that they will carry with them into adulthood.
We raise our children to become successful adults. The ultimate goal in parenting is to create adults that do not need their parents in order to excel. Giving children the emotional and tangible tools they need to flourish in their pursuit of independence will create lasting success from childhood and into adulthood.