The Importance of Independence in Children

Our children are our pride and joy, the most precious things in our lives. And as parents, it’s easy to want to wrap them up in cotton wool and make their lives as easy as possible. But that’s not necessarily the best things for them. Life isn’t all plain sailing, so teaching kids how to handle different challenges and overcome a variety of emotions is crucial for success in school (and beyond into adult life). Here are some of the ways you can ensure your children are independent and can handle whatever life throws at them.

 

Teach Them Responsibility

Giving children age-appropriate chores gives them new skills and helps to teach them responsibility. It could be anything from making their bed to feeding a pet to tidying their toys away. It gives them a glimpse into the adult world and shows that it takes work to get things done. Knowing that you have to do things even when you don’t want to is an important thing to learn for adult life. We get up, go to work, pay bills and plenty of other tasks we don’t really want to do but know we have to. Having it ingrained into you as a child means it’s not as much of a shock to the system when you start school and have to do things you don’t necessarily want.

 

Boost Their Confidence

Confident children overcome challenges better and are less likely to get down or upset when things don’t go their way. Confident kids are more likely to socialize and build up a friendship network, and persevere through obstacles rather than give up. You can improve confidence in your children by encouraging them to mix and socialize with other children from a young age. Set them realistic challenges and give them praise when they succeed and advice when they fail.

Make Sure They Can Wash and Dress Properly

Knowing how to bath, wash their hair, brush their teeth and get dressed by themselves without relying on you is a crucial skill to learn. If you’re considering something like prep school boarding, knowing your child can independently wash, dress and generally take care of themselves without too much help can give you added peace of mind.

Show Them How To Behave in an Emergency

Hopefully, your child will never need this advice, but it’s important to teach them just in case. If they get lost, teach them the people that they should approach for help and what to do. If an emergency happens in the home and an adult can’t get to the phone, teach them to call the emergency services. Explain how they should respond to different scenarios, all the while staying calm and not panicking.

Having these basic skills can give you peace of mind as a parent, and you can be safe in the knowledge that when they’re at school, on a trip or out with family members, they can cope fine without you. Offer them the advice and emotional support they need to overcome the challenges they face, and you will set them up to become successful adults in the future.

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