How to Help Your Child Become More Independent

Parenting is not something that can be taken lightly. It is your responsibility as a parent to prepare your child for both the good and the bad things that roam the world outside your baby-proofed home. Even the “Lost Boys” led by the flying rascal Peter Pan had to grow up eventually. And although you can’t shield your children forever, even though you will probably want to; you can try and make them more independent, teach them how to make their own choices and slowly turn them into a functioning adult.

Include children in the decision-making

Every human being is faced with dozens of decisions each day, some more or less important, therefore, being able to make the right decision at the right time is a very valuable quality. In the beginning you should start small and make your child decide between two equally suitable solutions. In this way you will help your children gain confidence and make them less afraid of failure. Later on ask your kid for advice on more complex issues, but always make sure you are not giving him to much of a challenge on the one hand and not insulting his intelligence on the other (children often sulk when they realize you are underestimating them).


Helping around the house

This can include everything from asking your children to help you with the plumbing or other repairs, to washing the dishes or setting up a barbeque. Start from an early age and try to make those sometimes tedious tasks into a learning game (combine fun with some useful experience). In this way you show your children that you trust them and you acknowledge their worth. Of course, make the tasks age-appropriate, praise your child for every valuable input and never put your child in harms way.



Dealing with problems

Letting your children deal with their own problems is a difficult task for every parent, but it is also a necessary one. Parents hate to see their kids in a tight spot and would, naturally, do everything to help them out. This is a mistake (of course don’t be too strict with this). By doing everything for our children we will not give them the appropriate skills to fend for themselves and they will always depend on others. The best way is to teach your kids to first try to solve their own problems and if they fail (the more diligent or stubborn ones will try more than once) you can then offer assistance or a solution of your own. It is of course important that they eventually come to you for help or advice and children should never conceal their problems from their parents. You are, after all, not supposed to make them too independent.

Living out dreams through a child

This is a very popular solution for those who never accomplished anything or believe that it is either their way or the highway. Unfortunately, this is very wrong. No matter how successful you are (or aren’t) at your own job, sport or hobby you have to give your children the right of choice. A parent doesn’t have the right to dictate a child’s life and is on the contrary supposed to spot and nurture the ambitions and preferences the child aspires to. You are not creating a clone of yourself, but a well defined, independent individual – always remember that.


“With great power comes great responsibility”, every parent should remember this quote from Spiderman and keep in mind that it is their job, duty and privilege to shape the souls and minds of the future generations.

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