Teach Your Children to be Independent - Methods and Techniques
By Andrew Loh
Many parents face several obstacles and problems, when they try to teach
their children the importance of leading an independent life. The most
common obstacle could be the issue of resistance displayed by children,
because they think that not doing something on their own, would erode
their assertiveness and freedom to lead a life of own wish.
Parents should make enough time and
conserve effort to teach children to become self-reliant and
independent. This attitude will make children understand the advantages
of self-reliance and independence. They will also see multi-dimensional
benefits of self-reliance. Careful and calibrated training will soon make children learn the
secrets of self-reliance.
Beneficial skills learnt and
mastered by independent children
Acquiring feeding discipline
Children must learn how to eat
without their parents helping them to feed. This seems to be the first
major lesson in teaching self-reliance. Children, who eat on their own,
take a first major step towards becoming independent.
Learning how to wear own clothes and shoes
Learning how to wear cloths, tie shoelaces and shoes would initiate children
into the process of becoming independent. This will also teach them how to wash,
iron and repair cloths in the future.
Learning how to maintain cleanliness
Children must know different ways
with which they can maintain their hygiene and cleanliness. They may
also like to know how to brush their teeth, take bath and comb hair all
without their parent's help.
Learning how to keep their room and home clean
Another mandatory line of duty is
keeping rooms and homes clean and tidy. Knowing how to clean dining
tables, put dirty clothes in the laundry basket, tidying up study table
and working in the garden are the most common daily routines that could
help children learn invaluable lessons. Use the following three
major steps to teach how to be independent:
Introduce a new skill every week or every month
Help children to learn and master this skill
Assist them to make it a habit
Parents are the best teachers. You
may want to teach children a new skill every day. Learning to tie
shoelaces in quick time could be a new skill. Wearing a pair of shoes
with least problems is yet another skill that is new and time saving.
However, knowing what to do is not enough. You may like to train your
children how to do it. Teach your children how to do it and in the
fastest possible time.
Never assume that your children
could it right the first time. It never works in a
practical situation. For example, children may never brush their teeth
properly in the first few attempts. You may need to monitor their
progress for a few days before certifying that they are doing it
right. Once you teach the art, you may want to see that it becomes a
permanent habit. Here are some more useful tips:
#1 Know exactly what you expect from your children
Let your children repeat what they have learnt and make it a habit. Always try to
know your children's innate ability to learn new skills and hone it to
perfection. If you observe that they are not capable enough of it, just
encourage them to carry on with the present task. Go slow and help them
fine-tune the existing skills.
#2 Find time to teach and train
Chose a time when you are free and not doing your daily chore. You
should be there when you are teaching a new task. Be practical, do and
#3 Break tasks into smaller chunks and make learning easier
Make learning easier by breaking down the task into many
easy steps that are doable. Let your children know what you expect from
#4 Praise when your child learns a new task that ends up in
Praise and reward your children when they
achieve something and learn in process. Teach them that achieving a goal
will lead them to learn how to become independent.
#5 Practice makes us perfect
It makes your children perfect too! Let your children
repeat what they have learnt many times over, so that they become
proficient in it.
#6 Use natural situations as opportunities for enhanced learning
Use those opportunities that are available
everyday to teach your children. For example, wearing uniform and
arranging schoolbags are two of the known activities that teach early
#7 If possible, you can role-play situations
For example, you can use real life scenarios to teach children how
to become independent. To teach how to arrange a study table, you can
show an unorganized table and ask children to arrange them item by item.
Ask them to repeat many times for at least a week to make it a habit.
Similarly, teach other social skills like how to brush teeth, take bath,
washing cloths, take turns while boarding a bus, buy some products in a
shopping mall or lead a weekend party for their friends.
#8 Set rigid rules and consequences
Create a set practice of guidelines
and ask children to stick to the schedule. Convince them why following
the schedule is beneficial to them. Also, let them know the consequences
of not following the schedule. Let them be the best in what they learn.
Set a timer to finish a task within the set time schedule. Praise their
efforts and not person. If possible, buy them treats in the weekend.
Examples of other skills that make children become independent:
Waking up early without instructing them to do so
Tying shoelaces and wearing shoes on own and without help
Wearing socks without help
Taking bath on own
Organizing study table
Doing homework and projects
Arranging weekend parties
Going to post office and shopping
complex (for children who are above 10 years of age)
Setting Limits: How to Raise Responsible, Independent Children by Providing Clear Boundaries
By Robert J. Mackenzie, Ed.D.
Do your children misbehave? Do they repeatedly ignore or refuse your requests for proper behavior?
Are you constantly fluctuating between permissive and authoritarian parenting, with little or no
success? Are you convinced there has to be a better way? There is. Setting Limits will help you
establish the positive, respectful, and instructional groundwork your children need for proper
ethical and behavioral development.
In this revised and expanded edition of his popular book, Dr MacKenzie demonstrates
proven techniques and procedures that not only correct misbehavior but instill the cooperation
and conduct you want and expect from your children.