Do you have a little one that is clingy? Or maybe one that likes to run free? Both of my children were a bit more of the clingy type. This worked out great for safety but not so much for letting me get things done. Or even going to the bathroom in peace. I’m so thankful they love and trust me, but I also want them to be independent. It is so important for building confidence and learning life skills. Here are some of the things we do to encourage independence.
Giving kids chores is a great way to foster independence in kids. My daughter chooses four chores each day from the Motivated Mom app and completes them. She usually chooses the same ones each day but she is great about doing them without being told. Here is a link to the motivated mom app: https://motivatedmoms.com/products/apps/
It is great for keeping me on task too!
Here is a link to chores that can be done for different ages: http://pin.it/uytMkIf
Allowing your child to choose and help make dinner is another great way to encourage independence. This can be done in stages. You can help them less and less as they get older. Eventually, you can make them responsible for one meal a week. It gives the resident cook a nice break too.
Having your child set goals is another great way to teach independence. This one is wide open. It could be anything. My daughter is very interested in sewing right now. We are setting a bunch of small goals so she can reach her big sewing goal, which is to sew a dress. For my son, it was film-making. We put him in several film-making camps and he was able to see his own short film on screen by the time he was sixteen. He also got to meet several people that were already working in the film industry.
Spending time away from your kids is another great way to make them feel independent. This one is more of a challenge for our family because we homeschool. We enroll our children in homeschool co-ops, dance classes, musical theater classes and themed summer camps to give them that important time away. I have really seen my daughter blossom since we started. She used to be so attached to me. Recently she has gained so much confidence and looks forward to her activities.
One of the most important things you can do to encourage confidence is model confidence. I think as parents and adults we are often hard on ourselves. It is so important for our children to see us proud of who we are and what we have accomplished. I know I can be guilty of being critical or unsure of myself. This is something I have really tried to improve throughout the years.
Independence is so important. I want my children to be strong, sure of who they are, self-reliant, kind and humble. These things are modeled daily by the people we surround them with, including ourselves. I let my kids know how proud I am of who they are and that their dreams are never out of reach! It is so important for them to dream big and be confident!
Letting them go is one of the most difficult things you will ever do as a parent! Watching them reach for their goals is evidence that they have become strong and independent.