For a lot of parents, there are few things harder than watching your kids grow up. After all, in your mind they’re likely still that baby that you held in your arms. However, the truth is that the march of time is something that you can’t stop and trying to keep your kids small forever is a big mistake. The best thing that you can do is to support their growth by giving them little ways to be independent. Here are just a few ways that you can do that safely and carefully.
Making their own food
One of the best, and easiest, things that you can do to help your child feel more independent is to let them make food for themselves. Now, no one’s expecting them to conjure up a four-course meal but things like toast for breakfast or a sandwich for lunch could well be a great place to start. After all, most kids can get frustrated having their meals dictated to them and being able to make it themselves not only helps them feel more independent but can foster a much healthier relationship with food.
For the vast majority of kids, their life is run at someone else’s schedule. They tend to do what you say, when you say it. This can be increasingly frustrating for kids as they get older so giving them a way to keep their own schedule can be a great step forward. Getting your child their own watch might seem incredibly simple but it can make a huge difference. It lets them have far more control over how they schedule their time and gives them a chance to feel more in control of their life. There are plenty of kids watches that not only provide that for them but let them express themselves in fun ways as well. A watch is a small thing but it’s a big step towards adulthood.
Spending time without you
You might love spending time with your kids and they might love spending time with you. However, there will come a time when they will want their own space and trying to invade that space can cause pretty major issues. If your child wants to spend time with their friends, or playing by themselves, or just hanging out in their room, don’t try to invade that space. It might be tough, but giving them the chance to spend time without you is invaluable for their development.
One of the most important things to remember when trying to foster a degree of independence in your kids is that they will likely not be able to handle things perfectly right away. That’s hardly surprising and it’s pretty understandable. There’s a chance that they’ll give themselves a bit of a hard time over it but it’s essential that you’re there to support them. Expecting perfection from them is a big mistake. If they don’t feel like they have room to mess up and improve, the pressure of additional independence and responsibility is going to pile up until it’s more than they can handle.