As a parent, your goal is to help your children grow and develop to be successfully independent. You may, like many parents, feel anxious about the balance of supporting and providing for your children, and teaching them these essential skills! Here are a few ways you can effectively help your children learn independence while still being the source of help they need.
Let Them Help Around the House
Chores are never a child’s favorite pastime, but these tasks are important things for your children to learn how to do on their own! Have them help you more and more with things like laundry, dishes, and cooking, to gradually implement the knowledge of how to do them solo into their natural habits. For example, you can start by having your kids collect laundry for you, and then eventually have them help you sort it into lights and darks, and then eventually get them to start loads and move them through. This process is overwhelming when looked at all at once, but teaching your kids a step at a time will make it an easy task to understand. The same can be said of other cleaning, maintenance, or cooking jobs around your home!
Teach Them Life-Saving Skills
Make sure they have the tools to survive and to help others do the same! From basic medical treatments like burns, cuts, bruises and cold medications, to self-defense in the face of a threat, your children will likely encounter some sort of potential danger or injury that they will need to address themselves. Another important skill is the ability to swim! Swimming lessons teach kids critical skills that can help them save a life one day. These kinds of lessons will provide a level of endurance and calmness as well as confidence under pressure that will protect them if they are caught in a precarious situation. Teach them the skills that will keep them safe and healthy, and raise their confidence that they will be able to take care of themselves.
Encourage Them to Do Hard Things
Most importantly, encourage your kids to do difficult things. As your children are challenged, they are forced to be brave, exert themselves, and reach outside their comfort zones. When they are successful at those hard things, each of those strengths grows in them! They will better recognize their capabilities, and be less afraid of taking risks or trying new things in the future. Support your kids as they succeed and as they fail, and they will develop a healthy balance of self-reliance and trust in you thanks to your encouragement.
Raising children who are capable and self-sufficient starts with you encouraging such activity within your own home, and then extending that encouragement to their tasks outside of home life. You, and they, will be grateful for the skills they have and the confidence they feel to carry those tasks out.
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