How to Give Your Kids More Independence

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We love our kids so we want to do all we can to help, love, and support them, but when it comes to children, you really can do too much. 

If we parents do everything for our children then they will never learn how to do things for themselves, which means they will struggle to be independent as they get older, and the last thing any of us wants to do is send our children out into the world unprepared!

So, it’s clear that kids need their independence, but what can we do to help them in this respect?

Encourage them

When your child asks you to do something that they could easily do themself, then instead of simply going ahead and doing it for them, tell them you are sorry, but as they are growing up they are now old enough to do it for themselves. When you frame things in this way, emphasizing that they are growing up and they are more capable, they will be more likely to WANT to do things for themself because it will make them feel good.

Let the make mistakes

If you get upset or angry whenever your child makes a mistake, they will stop trying new things and they will struggle to become independent as they grow up if your child makes a mistake acknowledge it, but don’t make a big deal of it, and if you can help them to make it right then so much the better.

Offer choices

You might not want your child to have free rein over where you go on vacation or what you have for dinner, but you can still give them more independence by offering them a choice of two acceptable dinners or two activity ideas that you are happy with. This will get them used to having to weigh up their options in day-to-day life while also keeping them safe.

Negotiate with them

Of course, if your child wants too much independence that can be an issue too, so you need to learn how to negotiate with your child in a way that is fair, lets them establish their own independence, but ultimately keeps them safe too. 

For example, if your teen wants to get one of these dangle belly rings, you should sit her down, ask her why she wants one, discuss all the pros and cons and ensure she knows what’s involved in caring for a piercing. If she understands and you are happy for her to go ahead, then fine, but if you feel like she is too young, you could potentially negotiate by letting her have a less grown-up piercing like an ear piercing instead. Basically, instead of giving an outright no, talk things through in a mature way that your kid will understand.

It can be hard to give your children more independence, but it is a life skill that they will need to gain before they leave the nest, so start helping them on their way as soon as you can and they will have a much easier time of it later, as will you.

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