Why is it Important for a Child to be Independent?
Let’s talk about increasing our child’s independence. While we love our children and we want them to stay our babies forever, we also don’t want to have to do everything for them, and we want our children to become independent. Independent skills are anything such as dressing, going to the bathroom, laundry, any of these things, but also just being self-sufficient.
Activities for Encouraging Independence
So here are some tips and tricks on how you can work to promote your child becoming an independent individual.
First start by providing your child choices. It doesn’t matter if it’s cleaning up or what they want to eat. Just give them a choice. Do you want to clean up the red blocks or the blue blocks? Giving that child a choice is starting to get them to realize that they make the choices, that they get have choices, and then that will promote their independence.
Determine Their Level of Support
Next, determine the level of support that your child needs and try to start fading back. If you always, for example, have to get the child’s toothbrush and put the toothpaste on it for them. Maybe try to just get the child’s toothbrush and show them and see if they can put the toothpaste on.
You want to start trying to fade out your prompts as much as possible, especially when we are talking about verbal prompts. If we have to tell our children to do every little thing, they’re going to wait for us to tell them to do that thing. So instead of saying, go get your shoes, put your shoes on, and we’re going to go.
Let’s just say, we’re going to go in five minutes.
What do you need to do?
By taking that prompt out of telling them to get their shoes, we’re promoting that child’s independence and their problem-solving skills so that they can then start sequencing what they need to do.
Use Learning Opportunities
Seize the learning opportunities. If you are presented with an opportunity that your child maybe has never done something or is about to do something, just let it go. See if they can actually do it themselves. That’s a great way. If they start to get frustrated, go and prompt them, but see if they can do it by themselves. It’s a great way to promote that independence.