10 ways to raise an independent child

March 05, 2018
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    Your child starts to learn only when you learn to let go. That’s why independence is one of the greatest skills a parent can teach her child.

    Related: This is how Wendy Jacobs raised her 5 kids to be happy and independent

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    This can be done by helping him develop important life skills, including tackling new tasks and making decisions on his own.

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    All you have to do is encourage and support him. Novelle Tan & Zaidah Samsam, centre supervisors at Josiah Montessori, suggest ways to raise an independent child.

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  • Have child-sized furniture
    4 / 13 Have child-sized furniture

    Knowing he can reach out for things for himself helps foster independence.

    You can offer help only when he has exhausted every possibility of completing the task.

    Related: 3 easy steps to teach your toddler to dress herself independently

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  • Give freedom of choice
    5 / 13 Give freedom of choice

    Explain that even though he can choose, he needs to do so correctly.

    Setting boundaries can help him listen to instructions and carry them through independently.

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  • Cultivate self-help skills
    6 / 13 Cultivate self-help skills

    Cleaning, dressing and eating on his own may be tedious and messy but they cultivate patience, confidence, and independence.

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  • Allocate ample time
    7 / 13 Allocate ample time

    Don’t rush him.

    Hold back from making remarks, getting upset or completing the task for him so he does not feel pressured and discouraged.

    Related: 4 ways to teach your child to be more independent

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  • Allow mistakes
    8 / 13 Allow mistakes

    When he fails, encourage him to try again.

    Being able to bounce back from failure builds a child’s resilience and tenacity.

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  • Decide how involved you should be
    9 / 13 Decide how involved you should be

    Being over-involved can stifle his decision-making.

    When you are under-involved, however, he may feel unloved and lost.

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  • Acknowledge accomplishments
    10 / 13 Acknowledge accomplishments

    Praise your child for completing the task on his own.

    Decide when to praise and when it is okay not to do so.

    Related: Mum quits job to teach special needs daughter to be independent

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  • Teach responsibility
    11 / 13 Teach responsibility

    Encourage him to take responsibility for his actions.

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  • Teach social skills
    12 / 13 Teach social skills

    A socially competent child cooperates with his peers without prompting, helps others, and extends empathy and patience.

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  • Help him to self-regulate
    13 / 13 Help him to self-regulate

    A child who is emotionally stable will not become worked up when mistakes happen ― he can pick himself up and try again.

    He will be able to settle minor conflicts with his peers without intervention from an adult.

    A child who is afraid to make mistakes and blames others when mistakes occur will grow up afraid to take on new challenges and become less dependent.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related:
    Should you have fewer rules if you want an independent child?
    What to do when your tween doesn’t want to talk to you

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