Dr. Damon Korb, a pediatrician California made an appearance on Australia Today, a morning news show, to give his expert opinion on teaching independence to your kids and the importance of having children learn to do things for themselves. Dr. Korb goes on to explain that as parents it's our job to make sure our children grow into fully functioning adults. The responsibility of making their own lunch from a young age is a good place to start.
Fully involve your child in the lunch making process from the age of eight. Most eight-year-olds are in third grade and fully capable of taking over this task. Help them plan a few healthy lunch options, along with some treats, and then head to the store letting them take the lead. You'll have to change up your routine a bit in order to allow your kid enough time to make lunch in the morning.
Getting up an extra 15 minutes then before should be enough but ease into the earlier wake time if possible. Or better yet, pack it the night before. Your child will love packing their own food and will take pride in their lunch. Hopefully, this will also make them more likely to eat it. And as an extra added bonus, you as the parent no longer has to take on this menial task.
Dr. Korb also shares that at age ten, children should be able to make their own breakfast in addition to lunch as well as manage their own homework schedule. Another piece of advice to foster independence is to allow boredom in these modern times of screens and millions of television options.
Turn off the TV and take away the tablet. Let kids be bored and use their imagination. He says," Learning how to be creative and learning how to be imaginative are skills that we use to build problem-solving abilities they would use later in life." Throw your kids outside with a ball with instructions to not come inside for an hour.
It's good for them. Independent confident children become productive adults. An early foundation of responsibility is so important.