Children who can rely on themselves to some extent are often the happiest of children. Independence in children gives rise to self-confidence and self-confident children are well-liked and find challenges easier to cope with. Teaching your child to become more independent is something which you should begin slowly.
Don’t expect them to run before they can walk
Younger children who are just starting school can begin learning independence quite quickly if they are praised for the things they manage to do alone. For example, washing themselves, dressing themselves and tidying their room.
Toddlers love tidying up – get yours into the habit of ‘tidy-up time’ every evening. Provide a big toy box and show them how to put things away. As a whole, children adore routine and will enjoy knowing that they are in charge of something important.
Independence through challenges
Some children are reluctant to try to become independent due to shyness or lack of confidence.
You can build up their confidence by setting them small challenges which will cement their self-assurance.
- Paying for shopping
- Packing shopping at the shops
- Caring for pets
- Helping smaller children
Helping older children become more independent
Older children can sometimes need extra help but it’s important that by the time they’re ready for high school, they are more or less capable of a variety of tasks. Here are some suggestions as to what a 12-year-old should be able to do alone:
- Cook a simple meal such as pasta and sauce or toasted sandwiches
- Make hot drinks
- Catch a bus alone
- Do their own laundry
- Consistently show good manners
- Reliably practice self-care/cleanliness
- Pack a suitcase
- Clean their own bedroom
If there are things on the list which your child cannot yet do – don’t worry. Just help them learn how!
These are all important skills which your child will enjoy managing once they feel more confident. This private school in Hampshire works to create an environment in which children quickly grow in confidence.