As a parent, we want the best for our kids. We desire them to grow and thrive and be independent. We want them to reach for the stars and reach their highest potential! But at what point do we back off and start teaching our children how to be self-sufficient and doing things for themselves?
As parents, we tend to do too much for our kids. We fear they can't do it themselves or simply want to do everything for them because we love taking care of our little cuties. However, doing everything for our children is a good way to create spoiled tendencies and them having no idea how to do small things. Below we have 10 easy things that can help our children become more self-reliant and sufficient, while mom and dad look on and smile.
10 CHORES ARE MORE HELPFUL TO THEM THAN TO YOU
Most kids will groan and moan about doing chores but if they stick with it, it'll become second nature and they won't have much to complain about. Creating chore charts will also help remind them and stay organized.
Having your kids do chores will help them realize how much goes into keeping a space clean and livable. They'll also see the effects of their efforts once all their chores are done, which can leave them feeling accomplished and good.
9 AND ASK FOR HELP EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T NEED IT
Another way to have your kids become more self-sufficient is having them help you. It doesn't matter if you're doing dishes, folding clothes, or need help washing the car, asking your kids for help will make them feel valued.
You trust them enough to help you with an adult activity and that can feel pretty rewarding for a little one. It's also a small moment to bond, which goes a long way.
When kids feel like they've grown enough to help their parents with something, they'll feel independent enough to do anything they put their minds to.
8 THROW PERFECTION OUT OF THE WINDOW
Most parents have some controlling tendencies, whether they like to admit it or not. Once kids come, we eventually find ourselves in a routine and it's hard to break that routine or have someone help us when it would be so much easier if we just did it ourselves.
Losing a bit of that control could be a good thing though. Letting your child try something their own way is both beneficial to you and them. When parents are too stuck in their ways and like to control most things around the house, kids will fear doing something wrong or will maybe even be scolded at for doing something in a different way than what feels natural to them.
7 TRIAL AND ERROR WILL HELP THEM GROW
You know what they say, "at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again." Rome wasn't built in a day and the more your child fails and struggles, the more they'll learn from it in the long run. From every mistake, they'll learn something and with your help, they can see the bigger picture.
As a parent, you may notice them making a bad decision during a board game, a soccer game, or even with an article of clothing but it's up to them to realize it was a poor decision and to learn not to do it again. It's moments like these that show real growth.
Unless the mistake is dangerous or going to cause harm, then there is more to be learnt from them making it than you stepping in.
6 TAKE A STEP BACK AND WATCH
Along with losing control and letting your child make mistakes on their own, it's also important to step back and watch from afar. You may want to be with your child all day, every day, but sometimes stepping back and letting them do things themselves in their own time is enough.
Your child may come downstairs in a Halloween costume, thinking it's a great outfit choice for school and as much as you want to intervene and say it's inappropriate, it may be smart to let them figure it out themselves. Let them be who they want to be.
5 TEACH THEM HOW TO COOK SO THEY CAN FEND FOR THEMSELVES
We're not suggesting you lock your child in the kitchen and command them to make your Thanksgiving dinner with no prior knowledge to the kitchen, but cooking together is a fantastic way to bond and learn.
When they're mature enough and able, teach them how to make basic things for themselves that can be helpful as they age. Show them how to make the perfect scrambled egg before school or teach them how to make an easy PB&J sandwich. Going through safety precautions in the kitchen is also extremely important, so be sure to do that before diving into recipes.
4 DON'T PRESSURE THEM
Kids already get enough pressure at school, from society, and from their friends. The last thing they need is to feel pressure from their parents for the simplest of things.
When giving your child more independence and the tools to become more self-sufficient, give them small things to conquer at first. Throwing them too many chores or skills at once can be a lot to handle for a little one. Let them conquer one thing at a time before giving them more responsibilities.
3 BE SURE TO GIVE THEM A VOICE
Children can oftentimes feel unheard or under-appreciated. Just because they have little voices doesn't mean they don't have loud thoughts. Ask for their views on certain topics, see how they feel about different activities, let them tell you how they feel instead of making assumptions.
Your Modern Family suggests asking them what kinds of vegetables they want to eat (instead of picking for them) or what hobbies they'd like to focus on (instead of thinking you know what's best).
2 SET GOALS
Setting goals for our kids is incredibly important. It reminds us to live with intention. Teaching our kids to do the same thing for themselves can give them something to strive for.
Whether you create a chore chart for them (so they can see how much they have to go before getting rewarded) or put them in competitive sports where they need to work as a team to accomplish a bigger title, it teaches kids to work hard until they've succeeded. This kind of mindset will follow them their entire lives.
1 CHILL OUT ABOUT THE TOYS
Most parents and family members are guilty of buying their little ones all the toys and games their little heart's desire. We want our kids to stay busy and active and know how much we love them, so we give them gifts. However, Raising Independent Kids reminds us that with so many toys, kids won't want to do anything helpful — all they'll want to do is play with their toys.
They'll rely heavily on their parents to do everything for them because they're so wrapped up in their games. If your kids do have one too many games, try putting a limit on playtime before they have to do something else.