It’s important that we listen to our children, because fairly often they will let us know when they’re ready to “do it themselves”. It’s difficult as a parent to watch your child struggle or even fail—but it’s important that parents realize that this struggle is often harder on them than it is the child. Each opportunity to zip their own jacket, put on their own pants, or pour their own drink, provides an opportunity for growth, practice, and ultimately success. If parents allow their children to fail, they are teaching them that things will not always come easily the first time that they try something, and that persistence and practice are key life principles.
2) Implement a routine
3) Get on their level
It’s pretty difficult for a child to be independent if their environment was created solely for their adult-counterparts. You may want to consider placing their cups on a small table within their reach, lowering their clothing racks, putting books on the bottom shelf, or leaving their favorite toys in an easily accessible space. Montessori-style furniture can be a great resource when making these changes to your home. Not only will this alleviate the need for mom/dad to grab what the child needs, every time they need it, but it also allows the child to pick and choose what they want to do throughout the day with little assistance.
4) Accept Help
Nothing teaches your child how to navigate life’s problems like allowing them to resolve their own conflicts. This can often be the most difficult for parents, as they so often want to come to their child’s rescue in social situations, or even scold them into sharing with their friends. But trusting in the social skills of young children can do wonders for a child’s ability to resolve conflicts and engage in positive social interactions on their own. Children will inevitably argue and have conflict, but if they’re taught that they are capable of solving it without adult intervention, they will ultimately be more successful in these skills as an adult.
Have you found any successful strategies to help foster independence in your child? Have you come across any barriers to the aforementioned strategies? Let me know!