Children have a natural urge to become independent. This article will highlight ways parents can gently support their children without putting them under pressure and tricks to encourage children’s independence.
An essential prerequisite for our loved ones to become independent is what is known as basic trust. Children need to be sure that they will be loved unconditionally, regardless of success or failure. In this way, they can courageously take the first steps towards independence.
Of course, children don’t become independent overnight, but they start to make their own decisions early. Parents should accompany their children on this path and learn to let them walk a little longer independently.
1. Let them have their own experiences.
Young children, in particular, have their own unique way of approaching new things. To encourage your child’s independence, just let them try things out – even if it doesn’t do everything “right.” And let’s be honest: What is “right”? In the end, there are things we adults can still learn from our kids.
2. Let them make some decisions.
What do I want to wear today? Who do I want to invite to my birthday party? Making good decisions also needs to be practiced: If we leave the reins to our children more often, especially when it comes to things that affect them, they will learn how to do this step by step.
3. Don’t lose everything.
Yes, it is often quicker or tidier if we do it ourselves. Try not to take the things your children can actually do on their own from them. In this way, your child can perfect things like dressing, undressing, making bread or bow ties and at some point masters them just as mom and dad.
4. Let them resolve conflicts if possible.
Also, social interaction requires independence. As long as your little ones do not wrestle with each other physically and there is no risk of injuring themselves, older children, in particular, should be allowed to search for solutions in conflict situations on their own. They can learn to make compromises, assert themselves, or back off.
5. Grant freedom and let it be discovered.
Our little ones need time and space to test their own abilities in the environment. But as parents, we naturally worry and are afraid that something will happen to our children. Then a “No” or “You’re still too small for that” quickly slips over the lips.
We can try to make such decisions more consciously and take back our own fears a little – and, for example, let the child onto the climbing frame if they believe themselves to be able to do so and suspect that they can do it on their own.
6. Allow personal initiative
Does your child have a suggestion or an idea? Wonderful! Anyone who takes the next generation seriously promotes independence and self-confidence enormously. Discuss to what extent the child’s ideas can be implemented.
7. Transfer responsibility
Let your child help with the household, maybe even turn it into beautiful routines, such as preparing dinner together. If your children are old enough, they can also plan shopping, a meal, or even an excursion. They can also decide what to eat or where to go. It’s great for self-confidence. The responsibility of keeping their own room (more or less) tidy is also a good step in promoting children’s independence.
8. Create a sense of achievement
When we master tasks that were challenging but feasible, a feeling of happiness flows through us. This also applies to children. It’s important to give your kids the time they need.