Independence is an important skill for our children. It enables them to operate in the world with confidence, to explore and to evolve. We have compiled for you a number of practical tips on the subject.

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How to do it right at home?

Consistency in demand: Make sure you set regular requirements for your children that are as clear as possible. Do not give general instructions like “go get dressed on your own”, but explain to them exactly what you expect from them and guide them so they do it right from the start. Maintain consistency throughout the activity itself.

Reducing distractions: Reduce distractions (turn off the TV, avoid talking on the phone, etc.). While doing the activity with the child, pay full attention to what you’re doing with them as children really respond to this. 

Consistency in conditions: Be sure to maintain as constant conditions as possible while performing the activity. For example: maintain a regular time throughout the day (as part of the child’s daily routine), make sure to perform the activity on a daily basis, maintain a regular place where the activity will take place, etc. If they attend Day Care, then this could enhance their social skills and you should always ask what they have been upto day to day. 

Provide sufficient time: Leave sufficient time for the activity, so that your child does not feel that it is being accelerated. Be patient with them always.

Avoidance of power struggles: When you feel you are about to lose patience, take a deep breath and remember how much you love your child. When resistance arises it is sometimes right to take a step back and continue next time instead of insisting and quarreling.

Satisfying the experience of success: Be sure to end with words of praise each time, in order to provide your child with as many success experiences as possible and enjoy the activity.

Learning through play: All daily activities can be started through play, after all children play first with their own baby dolls, or toy kitchen appliances or play tools. Your child learns from a fun shared experience the task they must achieve. This way your child can actually learn the stages of the activity, what is expected of them to do in real time. And how to deal with difficulties that arise. 

Emotional support for the child and you, the parents

Accept that the result will not be perfect: Let your child practice and experiment while understanding that he will not be able to do things exactly as you would. But the achievement will be entirely theirs. Understand that frustration is an important part of a child’s development: frustration is an opportunity for learning and coping that will prepare them for life. Being able to overcome the frustration your child is moving towards the next challenge. Do not be afraid to set boundaries either, because a boundary gives security and children need to know that there is someone who guards and protects them. Having a parent put a limit on them, it instills in them security and calm, and allows them to act knowing that if they make a mistake, there will be someone to watch over them. And always remember, you’re doing great.

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Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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