5 Ways to make Kids Independent


Yours truly used to be an over-protective, do-it-all-for-kids mama. Or should I say I still am to an extent! Well, I love cuddling them, carrying them and the mother in me swells with pride when someone says that my boy is Mama’s boy or someone comments that like mother like daughter about my girl.

My dear Hubby and my mum were quick to figure out what’s going on and how this behavior of mine can be detrimental to kids in the long run. When we discussed about it, I did realize that my overly help could actually make them clingy and restrict them from becoming independent and face the world.

So, let me share with you some tips and tricks that am practicing. By the way, check this article because it has lots of important pointers.

No Spoon feeding

I had / have this bad habit of making things to simple for them. Example: if the boy doesn’t know how to do a particular task like writing a particular letter or reading a word etc., I would wait for 1-2 seconds and straightaway give the answer. Readymade!!! Kids will be happy but at the same time, they’ll not even try to figure it out themselves. Similarly, they should do their own routine work after certain age – taking bath, brushing teeth, feeding themselves, changing clothes.

So, no spoon-feeding is the first tip.

Once the kids know that there are not going to be direct solutions, they have no choice but put in sincere efforts. They’ll have to do their own things. This leads them to learn independently.

Be Flexible and Available

Yes, you have to make the kids independent but that doesn’t mean that you have to always rule with an iron fist. Sometimes, they do need our help because certain tasks can be too huge for their little brains – that problem sum could be like a big mountain or school project could be too complex for them to comprehend. In such events, be flexible and offer help. Again, offering help doesn’t mean complete spoon-feeding!

Give them some pointers, work with them and help them to complete the home work / project. Next time, they’ll work on their studies or any other scenarios related to their world independently before turning to you for help.

Make them a part of household decision making

I always say that Kids are the Best teachers and they understand much more than we think. It’s a great idea to listen to their views, take their suggestions before making household decisions like which TV to buy, where to plan our next trip. Many times, I have seen that my kids are quick to come up with pointers that can resolve the most tricky situations.

When as parents, we make them a part of decision making process, they start thinking independently. They get acquainted to their own mental capability and become more confident.

Let them take their own little decisions

“Noo! you must wear this shirt when we are going out tonite”…

“You cannot refuse to eat this dish”…

“Mom and Dad will decide what time you will sleep on weekends”…

Does this conversation is a regular one at your home? Then according to me, it needs some change. We should let kids take some decisions as far their little world is concerned. Example – What gift they want to buy for their friend’s birthday, what brand of stationery they think is the best etc. etc. Let’s give them free hand to make choices. Their choices could be messy and wrong but respect them.

Am not saying that we literally let them do whatever they want! If their choices are outright harmful then of course, we have to put a stop there. But if their choices are different than yours doesn’t mean they are wrong. Allow them to decide for themselves. When kids take their own decisions, they becomes accountable for it. They get the sense of responsibility to carry out the decisions and that leads to raising an independent child.

Don’t always blanket the kids

This is one behavior trait of mine that I am still working on. By the way, as a parent, we have to correct ourselves before correcting kids, agree or not?

Well, One dejected expression on their face and I melt like a butter instantly. The girl comes home sad saying that one girl bullied her and I become a lioness and start thinking of complaining to teacher and the mother of that girl and so on. If the bullying incident is serious then yes, I need to take an immediate action. But what if its just some petty fight etc. then should I over-react and blanket my daughter? Can’t I let her tackle her own issues at least to an extent? Yes, I should let her face the reality. I should not always blanket the kids.

The world is going to be full of good and bad experiences and kids must face it. As a parent, I can always be there for them, support them but I should not always shield them. Let them shed some tears, Let them face failures, let them find their own way and achieve wisdom.

Another thing I am learning is to say NO. Kids demand that latest toy, that latest brand of clothes, tickets to the latest attraction and I give them that on the platter. Shouldn’t I wait and let them earn that much-desired stuff? Yes, I should.

When they know that I am not going to blanket the kids and say yes to their whims and fancies, they’ll become independent. Once they know that they’ve to earn it, they start working towards the goal determinedly.

Last but not the least, kids should not take their new found Independence for granted. We have to ensure that they know the basic principle of Independence – Independence is NOT doing your own thing, It’s doing RIGHT thing on your own!

What’s your mantra to raise independent kids? Don’t forget to share.

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15 comments on “5 Ways to make Kids Independent”

  1. Nehalad Reply

    This is a great post Shubhada. The point on “Let them take their own little decisions” is so well put. I have personally seen mommies being overly protective and controlling… this post has very practical tips and action points.. Keep it up 🙂

  2. Isabelle W. Rosta Reply

    These advise are very useful. Although I’m not a mum yet but I can imagine how I will smother them with too much affection! We need to let them have their space to make decisions and I’ll be needing Rainbowdiaries advise as a reminder ❤

  3. Foodwanderers Reply

    I don’t have any kids, but would not support over-pampering my future children. And, agree on that part Spoon feeding is definitely a no-no.

  4. the hOOter Reply

    It’s such a struggle and dilemma, isn’t it, Shub? On one hand, we want to be there for them; while on the other hand, we worry about being overprotective. I guess that struggle to find a balance (and for us to let go) will always be there on this parenting journey…

    <3 Dee @TheHootingPost.com

  5. Geraldine Guo Reply

    Ah Spoon feeding is what I was guilty on… when I only had 1 kid. Now with 3, they are more inclined to fend for themselves and find solutions themselves. It is working!

  6. theseeblingadventure Reply

    As a former teacher, I am mindful not to be a “helicopter parent”. And as a SAHM, I face my boys 24-7, so I’m actually the last person to mollycoddle them (cos I see them so much).

    But points 3 and 4 got me thinking, and I’ll keep those in mind too, especially when my boys are older. They are getting to the age whereby they are starting to form their own opinions I should also be mindful about including them in the decision making process.

    ChermSee

  7. Ai Sakura Reply

    I think I still tend to pamper and baby my girl quite a bit.. well, can’t help it since she’s our only child! But we do still try to instill independence and confidence in her since she’s already going to school and we are practical as well.. we know that we cannot always be around to protect her and she must learn how to do things for herself when we are not around. It’s a hard balance though!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  8. Angie Yeow Reply

    Very practical tips! It is always a thin line to draw when striking a balance to let go or not to let go. That is the question? : ) Whcichever the case, as long as we are always willing to reflect and learn, we are always improving in our parenting! Way to go! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Susan Reply

    Raising my girl to be independent resulted from a lot of intentional parenting. I had to make sure that her grandparents were also on board as well and don’t give her the impression that we are parents were making things hard for her. She now sees the value of being independent and why we trained her up this way.

  10. Sengkangbabies Reply

    Talk is cheap and action defines you. That’s the rough way which I try to parent my kids. They have a lot of freedom (maybe too much) at home, and we do vote where-to-eat, where-is-next-outing for weekends. Empower the kids and they never fail to surprise me (can be good or bad!)

    cheers, Andy
    (SengkangBabies.com)

  11. David Sim Reply

    Recently there’s some talk on helicopter parenting. These tips should help parents structure their approaches towards letting their kids to be more independent and avoid being too reliant on parents. As parents we must be reminded that one day they need to strut out on their own so… guiding them to be independent from young is critical to their growth. Thanks for sharing!

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