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Introduction

   No mom !!! I want to wear the clothes and shoes by myself ? Dad!!! Please leave my hand,I want to climb the stairs by myself. Are you a parent and hearing such dialogues everyday and getting stressed out? Take a deep breath ,I am here for you to say all these things are very common and your child wants to grow independently and we need to be happy about the same . 


   Being independent is one of the fundamental rights of all living beings in this world. Like any individual, even our children love to be independent, and they want to perform all the work by themselves. If we have a toddler or preschooler at our home, we can understand the child’s independent behavior as they want to do everything on their own.

   The independence changes over different phases of child development. Starting from picking up their clothes and drinking water /milk from their cup, wanting to visit some places by themselves etc. children love to do everything independently and They love to explore their surroundings on their own and do things on their own from an early age. 

   As a parent/caregiver, we can provide the right environment for the child to explore and guide them positively. Being independent at an early age is more important to lead a happy and stress-free life.Again as a parent , we can't allow the child to be independent during some dangerous situation , here we are not talking about such situations. 

How to support the child to be independent and confident


How can we support a child to be independent?

Believe in the child without any pre-judgments and allow them to do minor work at home. Home and family are the safe nest where life starts for any individual. Children can freely ask for choices and explore things inside their own place , so it is always good to allow them. Based on their age, we can provide an opportunity to explore and be independent in their routine life.

 

  • Allow them to choose their clothes

  • Let them try and put on their shoes/socks.

  • Let them start with simple kitchen work such as pouring, closing the vessel lid, taking up their plates, putting them back in the sink, drinking water from their cups, and much more. Simple kitchen work provides independence in children.

  • Let them arrange the pillows during the morning time and make up their bed during the night.

  • Hang on the wet clothes, help in folding and arrange their clothes.

  • Opening and closing the door

  • Allowing them to choose their food, self-feeding helps a lot to understand their own body.

  • Putting on their car seat belts, selecting their games to play, and selecting books to read enhances the maturity level in children through independence.




Doing such life skills independently gives the child confidence, motivates and encourages to achieve more in their life.


Why we restrict independence in children

Though we are well aware of the importance of independence in children and try our level best to do it, sometimes or most of the time, we fail to do so due to various reasons. Do you want to know such situations and have a positive look at them, please scroll through?  

 

1.Time constraint

 It is hard to allow the child to try to be independent all the time. If you feel you are running out of time and children may demand to do it independently, please plan and go with the flow. It is hard, but we need to maintain the time, especially if we are going out. Be a toddler or a preschooler; they love to dress up themselves and often want to choose /change it. If you ever feel this activity will affect your timing schedule, please plan and start early. This happens most of the time at our home, and we are trying our level best to pre-plan. Still, we fail at times but get success most of the time. But it is fine to divert them once or twice to meet the timing but not all the time. Time constraints mainly happen when we plan for a trip and it's time to leave home, Leaving for school in the morning etc. Its ok , to do it on your own and not let the child do it due to time constraint .


2.Less Patience

This happens most of the time with many parents, as kids take a longer time to finish any work, and not every parent has the patience to wait until the child completes it. If you ever feel this way, it is our responsibility to change ourselves, and we can provide a separate setup for the child to explore. After all, parenting starts within us, and if we want to raise an independent individual, we need to sow the seeds from a young age onwards. Yes , it's a time consuming work but that’s how it will be as the child is learning and they do it in a slow pace.


3.Cleaning up anxiety

Try to make up your mind as it will be like this for the early years. Once they learn the cleaning up process, kids clean up on their own. We can involve the child in cleaning up after any independent work.As they are in the learning stage, the mess is widespread in the independent work, and we can try our level best to accept it and involve children in cleaning up as well. Cleaning up is a life skill, and it takes time to happen routinely, yet it a great independent work. 



4.Children are not old enough to be independent

A widespread phrase among parents is that we always think children are not old enough to do chores and we need to provide all the details, do all the work for them. Well, it’s true in some ways and not true in many. If they are not exposed at this age, they won’t attempt anything when they grow up. So with positive boundaries we  allow the child to explore the age appropriate things.


Summary

Being independent is more important for any living being, especially for humans and it is much more important for child development at a young age. We can’t expect someone all the time to be with us for basic needs. Independence starts at an early age, and we parents help the child to have positive boundaries and to be independent in life.As a parent , we know which is dangerous and which is not. So , based on our instinct we can allow the child to be independent for non dangerous activities. Finally, learning happens through exploration and being independent not only through books. 


Do you love to be independent in your life ? Do you want to do the same with your child ? Please share your thoughts in the comments .

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