I Can Do It On My Own: 4 Effective Techniques For Raising Self Sufficient Children
Teaching your children self-sufficiency enables them to develop the skills necessary to survive in an unpredictable world. Children who have a sense of independence and self-sufficiency are more likely to handle the challenges of growing up, are more likely to perform better at school and in other areas of life, and they are likely to grow into successful adults. Here are 4 techniques to help you raise self sufficient children:
1. Give Them Something to Do
Introducing your children to tasks and chores early in life is one of the most effective ways to nurture responsibility and self-sufficiency. It is essential to establish routines and responsibilities for each family member. Assign tasks such as helping with cooking, cleaning and organizing the house, laundry, cleaning the car for the older children and expect each child to complete their task. Toddlers can also learn responsibility through taking small tasks such as tying their shoelaces, picking out their clothes occasionally, or keeping away their toys after playing. When introducing tasks to young children, break the tasks into small manageable bits. All in all, it is important to coach your children how to do their tasks so they will have the motivation to actually complete these tasks.
2. Allow Them to Do it on Their own
Helicopter parenting, where the parent is too involved and overly protective of his child can stymie independence. Allow your children to do things on their own without you hovering around them or offering to do it for them. If your toddler is lifting his large toys to keep them away in the basket after playing, allow him to do it without offering to help him. If your 13-year-old daughter is busy trying a new recipe, allow her to do it on her own unless she asks for your help. Only offer guidance when you see that your child really needs it.
3. Be Open to Mistakes and Encourage Consultation
In learning to be independent, your child will make many mistakes. Instead of criticizing his efforts or admonishing him for making mistakes, help him to do the right thing next time. Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, the best approach is to coach them on how to do something when they fail at the first attempt. Remember that needless criticism will easily dampen your child’s motivation to do anything and to become independent. Encourage your children to consult with you, speak with you freely and to ask for your help when they need it. This is especially true for teenagers who may be apprehensive about asking for help for fear of being admonished by their critical parents.
4. Help Them Make Choices
Life is a series of choices. The ability to make independent decisions can affect a person’s level of accomplishment. Being able to make choices is an intricate part of self-sufficiency, something that your children should be able to do while they are still young. Start by offering your children some options; they can have either an apple or an orange for breakfast; they can choose to go shopping or watch a movie over the weekend. Also as you teach decision-making and nurture independence, discuss issues with your children and seek their input. This does not mean that you lose control; it means that you are enabling your children to think and make independent decisions. It teaches them that they too have an opinion that matters.