Teaching Your Children Independence Thinking Skills - How Parents can be Proactive in Training their children
By Andrew Loh
Tying shoelaces, buttoning the shirt, cleaning the study table, doing
laundry and doing homework on own without parents' help - these are some
of the most common, yet important responsibilities for a child. These
simple activities may look and feel very simple to many of us. However,
they can pose a big challenge for most of the children, who are under
the age of 10 years. To an adult, these simple jobs may look monotonous
and regular. However, these perceived simple tasks may look humungous to
all children. Children must learn and master many skills and techniques,
before they leave home for their higher studies. Acquiring independence
thinking skills at an early age will help your children build confidence
Young children and toddlers often like to do and perform very meaningful
and understandable “adult-type” tasks. Many times, they are too
enthusiastic about doing things on their own. What they lack are the
techniques or methods to perform these tasks. To help your children
succeed in learning independence skills, you may need to set up a
congenial physical environment to assist them become more independent.
What you can do to help your children become independent thinker?
Providing ample opportunities: Provide plenty of opportunities
for your children to learn independent thinking skills. Your children
should understand that learning independence skills will help them
become more efficient and empowered in their classrooms and out of them.
As a parent, you may wish to cajole your children to do work on their
own and without your help. When your children understand that doing
small tasks with their own initiatives is good for them, they will try
to work on small tasks that are simple and straightforward.
Encourage independence: As far as possible, give limited choices
for your children. When your children have limited choices in front of
them, they will try to achieve excellence in the tasks they want to
perform. Ensure that you respect your children's preferences.
Example: Let us say that you are giving drinking chocolate
to your children. You may now give just two options for them. Ask this
simple question - “Do you need that orange cup or the blue cup?”
Alternatively, your children want to dress up for their piano class. You
may ask your children this simple question - “The red dress is that side
drawer and the grey one is in the cupboard. Pick the one that you like”.
Here, your children will try to assess the merit of your question and
decide on their answers after thinking over it for some time.
Show flexibility towards your children: Becoming independent
takes lot of time. Respect your child's natural limitations. Never ever,
pressurize your children beyond certain limits. Make sure that you are
integrating the training within the ambit of your work. Use the
available opportunities to teach your children independence thinking
Involve your children in making plans: You can ask your children
to suggest ideas to help make the learning program a success. Children
can give wonderful ideas. Use their abilities to help them succeed in
learning independence thinking skills.
Explain what independence is: You may wish to explain the
benefits and advantages of mastering independence thinking skills. Tell
them how learning such skills will help in classroom and in other
Let children try to do work on own: Some children will try to do
small tasks on own. For example, children love to button their shirts or
tie shoelaces. Most children fail in their first few attempts because it
is natural; children may not develop the necessary muscle-eye-bone
coordination when they are young. Let them try to do their tasks. If
they fail, you can help them, but after providing solutions to the
problems. Tell them how they can button up their shirts and demonstrate
the act by standing in front of them.
Be affirmative and reinforce positive assertions: Always,
reinforce positive reinforcement and avoid negative ones. Be positive
with your children and help them to remain positive as well. If they do
any task with success, compliment them with your heart.
There are a number of independent thinking skills that your children
must learn and master to become successful in life. Here are some of
Note: The most important skill that your children must learn
is to realize that mastering independent thinking skills will help them
achieve critical goals.
Encourage your children to ask questions and find answers with their own
Make sure that the questions will have have a “why” or “what happens if”
component attached to them.
Your children should find their own solutions or answers to problems.
Buttoning a shirt is one classic example. Most children often fail in
their first attempt. However, they will master the task with
Teach your children how to do experimentation. Your children should be
able to experiment on simple challenges and tasks until they find a
Please remember that learning independent thinking skills relates very
closely to performing most common daily tasks. Children who develop
critical independent thinking skills can be very successful in their
life. Developing independence thinking skills may open up a repository
of useful knowledge and information.
Raising a Thinking Child: Help Your Young Child to Resolve Everyday Conflicts and Get Along with Others
By Myrna Shure and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo
This book provides a step-by-step format parents can follow in teaching young children to solve
problems and resolve daily conflicts. Shure's no-nonsense, sincere approach to the narration
resembles a seminar given by a highly competent and well-educated speaker.
The lessons are uniquely
taught by way of imaginative dialogues between Theresa Foy DiGeronimo and various children.
Solutions are reinforced through game-playing activities and communication techniques. The
well-presented, yet tedious, demonstrations cleverly assist the authors in driving home their
methods. Stressing the importance of developing thinking skills in growing children, a parent's
guide introduces the I Can Problem Solve program.