When your child was a baby, they needed you to do everything for them. As they grow older, their ability to tend to their needs improves.
By the time they are a toddler, they have the capability to do a lot more things on their own. Parents can begin training their child to be independent between the ages of 2 and 3, and this initiative will prepare them well for the future.
The following tips will guide you towards helping your child become more independent.
Encourage them to do What They Can by Themselves
Most parents tend to do things for their children when they are pressed for time. Doing so discourages the child from attempting age-appropriate tasks on their own.
Avoid racing against the clock, and set your child up with enough time to do what they have to do. Train them for the task when you have time and help them practice until they master it.
Help Them When They Ask for It
Putting your child in charge all of a sudden can frighten them. Do it gradually by introducing one task at a time. Encourage your child to ask for help when they need it.
If they get stuck, don’t criticize or take over. Instead, provide directions to help them solve the problem. Make an exception by taking over when they aren’t well or is tired, but don’t make a big deal of it by drawing attention to it.
Look for opportunities
It is a good idea to occasionally evaluate your child’s routine, and identify areas where they can be more independent. Make changes that will allow them to be more involved, like asking them to put their books away on a shelf they can easily reach.
Also, encourage them to make their own decisions about what to wear or what to play with; this will enhance their decision-making ability.
Provide positive reinforcement
Praise your child when they attempt something on their own, irrespective of the outcome. Your approval will motivate them and push them to try harder. Encourage them to succeed and not give up.
However, make sure your appreciation is genuine, as children can easily recognize if you don’t mean what you say.
While the phrase “Good job” can be acceptable in some cases, it can also quickly become a filler phrase or that thing you say when you’re busy and are quickly trying to get back to whatever it is you are doing. If you continuously say “Good job” even without meaning it, it can become confusing for your child because they won’t know what makes it a good job. Not to mention, if you end up saying it when being genuine, your child may just see it as a “go away” word and the effect will be lost.
Don’t look for perfection
You aim to get your child to do things by themselves. Initially, they may not be able to do it well, but they will improve over time. However, if you constantly point out flaws or correct him, they may lose interest and stop trying.
Instead, show them how he can do it better next time, and assure them that they will be able to do it much better once they get the knack of it.
Independence is a life skill that your child will greatly benefit from. Independent children are confident, capable, and easy to manage. This trait will boost his self-esteem and help them feel accomplished, encouraging them to succeed in life.