Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Are you trying to raise an independent child? What are your tricks?

Posted by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:46 AM
  • 6 Replies

How to Raise Independent Kids


by Amy Oztan

Fiona on subwayMy goal has always been raising kids who can take care of themselves (and, eventually, me). Kids don’t start learning to be independent when they’re teenagers; they start long before they actually have to get along on their own.

There are simple things that you can do to help your kids be more independent. And hey, anything your kids can do for themselves, that’s one less thing you have to do!

Make them ask for things themselves. It can be so tempting in a restaurant or store to speak for your child, especially if she’s shy. But making your children ask for things themselves is a great way to build their confidence. If they want more napkins, they can ask for more napkins.

Don’t ever sneak out on them. I know how tempting it can be to quietly open the door and take off while your child is happily playing with the babysitter. So much easier than saying goodbye and risking them crying and begging you to stay, right? But don’t do it! You’ll teach your child not to trust you, and the next time the sitter comes over, your little darling will be wailing and clinging to your leg. Instead, teach him that when you leave, you come back.

Let them struggle. It doesn’t matter whether it’s tying a shoe, doing a math problem, or climbing up to the monkey bars. The sense of accomplishment your child will get when she finally does a thing on her own will give her more self-confidence than anything you could ever say. Step back and let her struggle.

Listen to their cues. When your child indicates that he wants more responsibility or freedom, listen to him! If your reaction is always “He’s not ready,” maybe it’s you who isn’t ready, and that’s not really fair. If he’s asking for more responsibility, he’s probably ready for some. That doesn’t mean you have to hand over the car keys when he’s 10, but there’s probably something you can let him do that will build up his confidence (and yours).

More from The Stir: 5 Ways to Promote Independence in Big Kids

Let them screw up. Messing up doesn’t mean that your child wasn’t ready to do something. How many times have you nailed something new on the first try? Let him learn from his mistakes and try again. That’s the only way he’ll learn to adapt.

Are you trying to raise an independent child? What are your tricks?

by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 7:46 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-6):
mjimaging
by Melissa on Jul. 30, 2014 at 8:47 AM
We do most of that already. We try to make them responsible for their actions too. Our 4 year old struggles with this more but the teenager knows there are consequences for bad decisions.
emarin77
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Sure, my son who is 6 has chores, has a behavieral chart he has to follow, complete his homework on his own, if he has a question he has to ask his mom or dad.

Jinxed8
by Platinum Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 4:05 PM

I try - I'm the type though that will do it for her if it's faster or more convenient.  But DD has some chores around the house, I regularly tell her, you CAN do this ... and I've given her some independance like letting her walk to a friend's house, trusting her with responsabilities, or tasks.  She's 10 and she's doing great but I also she can be a space cadet so I know her limits as well.  She's nowhere close to being able to be a latch key kid

Selah413
by Member on Jul. 30, 2014 at 5:03 PM
My daughter is 15 months and I am starting to allow her to become more independent when doing things. I must admit I am guilty of sneaking off leaving to prevent her from crying. Guess I will stop doing that!
clairewait
by on Jul. 30, 2014 at 9:23 PM

I often feel like the most lazy mom of all the moms I know. I make my kids do A LOT for themselves. My oldest is 7. My husband and I are very old school in that way.

And honestly, it is hard for me to be around other moms who do everything for their kids. It is exhausting.

I'm about to have 4 kids though. It is sort of survival mode around here. Haha. If you want something, get it yourself.

KylesMom409
by Linnette on Jul. 30, 2014 at 10:13 PM
Great list. 😊 and I hope that I'm doing those things as often as I can. DS is 7 and he usually maintains independence on certain things.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)