5 Hacks to Raise Independent Kids

With a bit of responsibility now, children will grow up to be self-sufficient adults.

Oct 15, 2020

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Parents want their children to grow up to be responsible, independent, and mature adults. Turning this long-term child rearing goal into a reality is not an overnight task and cannot be learned from books. Independence is something that has to be nurtured year after year.

Many lessons need to be experienced first-hand, without fear that children will give up or constantly rely on their parents to help them. According to Thrive Global, children can, within safe parameters, increase their self-confidence and believe in their own abilities. Here are five proven hacks to raise independent children that will be able to take responsibility for themselves and make smarter decisions.

Start small with easy chores 

Although you may not be able to imagine a future when your little ones will turn into fully independent adults, it will happen if you start early. By instilling responsibilities at a young age, kids will learn how to rely on themselves and understand the importance of completing tasks. They will feel a sense of accomplishment because they were able to start and finish something on their own.

According to Psychology Today, independent children experience increased inner-motivation since they are able to discover their own reasons for completing a chore. The task can be as simple as cleaning up their toys or putting on their pajamas before bed.

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Make room for your child’s opinion

As important as it is for children to be assigned tasks, it may be even more beneficial to come to an agreement together. Psychology Today recommends discussing potential chores with your children to see what they prefer to do and if they have any of their own ideas. This will make kids feel like they are involved in the process and they will be more inclined to complete the task at hand.

Maybe one child is fascinated by the dishwasher and they would be thrilled to help you clean off the plates or load it. You will not know what chores actually interest your kids until you ask them. Instead of forcing your daughter to put away laundry, she may genuinely enjoy helping feed the family dog or watering the plants.

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Focus on effort, not the end result

According to Positive Parenting Solutions, striving for perfection increases anxiety in children. Without the fear of failure, children (just like adults) are more inclined to try. According to Thrive Global, when children feel completely supported by their parents, they won’t be afraid to make a mistake and will continue to try different hobbies.

Encourage your kids to sign up for a new sport, activity, or class without any sort of pressure that they must be the best. This will allow them to relax and step out of their comfort zones. Since there are no clear expectations, your kids will feel more confident when learning and practicing their new hobby. Make sure to offer praise and encouragement.

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Encourage problem-solving skills

It is important to provide opportunities for children to solve problems on their own. As easy as it may be to find solutions for everything, children should be given space to figure out issues by themselves.

A study published in 2010 by Behaviour Research and Therapy found that teaching children problem-solving strategies at a young age can help improve a child’s mental health. Children will feel more confident in themselves and their abilities to fix issues on their own. You can start by analyzing the problem together and discussing possible solutions. Children can then decide which action to take and try to resolve the issue themselves.

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Allow for alone-time

Children need to learn how to entertain themselves, practice self-reliance, and focus on a specific toy or game without jumping to the next activity. This helps increase a child’s patience and enhances their creativity and imagination. By spending time by themselves from a young age, children will feel more comfortable being alone in the future, according to The Military Wife and Mom. This helps kids feel more confident in their own skin.

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JACKIE SCHINDLER, CONTIRBUTOR
Jackie Schindler teaches EFL to students between the ages of 5-15. She is passionate about making English relevant, fun and memorable. She always tries to look on the bright side in every situation. She is an avid reader, writer, traveler and always on the hunt for the best iced coffee.