Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Help Your Child Develop Into an Independent Individual

Asian little girl happy with water bubble in vintage color tone

You may have heard people say that kids these days don’t seem independent anymore. After all, the idea of a helicopter parent is not a fading concept. However, that doesn’t mean you want your kids to grow up coming to you with every minor need.

Promote Independent Activities

Teaching your children how to work with others is important, but you should also stress to them the importance of activities that don’t require a team effort. For example, you could have a pool, like those from Bonnie & Clydes Above Ground Pools & Spas, installed in your back yard. Just encourage your children to swim with supervision, but swimming allows kids to move around on their own and feel a sense of freedom. Also, learning how to swim and being able to do something on their own can be very influential in terms of their being able to act independently.

You may also want to look into other activities, such as golf or painting, that place an emphasis on your children’s individual talents.

Don’t Do Everything

In many cases, it is probably faster for you to complete a task than to show your children how to do it for themselves. However, you are causing issues for the long term. For example, you may quickly tie your kids’ shoelaces before you leave the house because you are in a rush. Schedule a few more minutes to get ready each day so that they can practice this necessary skill. Slowly showing them how to perform certain tasks by themselves will help make them more independent.

Remove the Baby Devices

If you treat your children as though they are babies, then they are probably going to act like babies. Some medical conditions may warrant the need for a baby monitor to remain in your children’s rooms long after they are toddlers. However, when they do not have such conditions present, remove these devices from their rooms. Look for other ways that you are still treating them as though they are babies. For example, a child in preschool is generally old enough to start drinking from a regular cup.

Ask for Input

You do want your kids to know that you make the ultimate decisions, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid asking them for input. For example, you might be deciding which of two activities to enroll your children in for the summer. Instead of just deciding to sign them up, hear what they have to say. You can start to apply this technique to larger decisions, such as where the family should go on vacation, too in order to encourage independent thinking skills.

You don’t want to send your kids into the world without knowing how to behave in an independent manner. You can start teaching them now.

Tim Esterdahl

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