Teaching Your Children to be Independent, Self Reliant and Responsible
By Andrew Loh
More often, parents carry the burden of over protecting their children
without understanding the negative consequences. Just because we love
our children so much, we cannot shield them forever under a protective
umbrella, because they will have to stand on their own feet sometime in
the near future. A child, who knows, acknowledges and accepts
responsibility may do extremely well in both school and in life. A child
who learns to be independent can be a source of joy for parents too.
This article series attempts to inform parents about different ways that
can build this amazing ability in their children's life. Before learning
how we can make our children independent, we may want to know different
advantages of someone being independent.
Independent children possess higher levels of self-confidence
Children, who are self-reliant and independent, can do a lot in their
life both for themselves, and for others without seeking extra help from
adults. Independent children could offer their solutions and methods to
solve problems on their own and face challenges as and when they come
up. With a solid set of strategies and techniques, they can stand on
their own and take suitable actions. In other words, self-reliant and
independent children, may kick start a process that leads to inculcation
of self-esteem and confidence.
Independent children can
easily co-operate with others and help them
Co-operation is a natural act and independent children usually possess this
character. The act of co-operation is an automatic phenomenon. Here is
an example of the relationship between co-operation and the character of
Most children do what their parents ask them to do.
When parents tell children to do something on a regular
basis, and day after day, children are most likely to follow
This leads to a situation, when
children start following the said routine even before their parents give
Independent children can develop better and productive skills
Children, who are self-reliant
and independent, are more likely to develop many other skills that are
academic and social in nature. In fact, they can easily perform many
more additional tasks that could be difficult and challenging. For
example, communication and organization skills are the two skills that
could enhance a child's ability to lead a better life.
Parents could live a calmer and relaxed life
Parents can lead a better and relaxed life, when they help their children learn and
lead an independent life. When you train children, who can carry out
daily tasks/routines on their own, you will have extra time to pursue
your forgotten hobbies/ goals and achieve them as quickly as possible.
What are the obstacles and problems?
Parents may need to be patient
Parents may never display a level of patience that is required to
handle their children especially, when they perform some common tasks or
carry out daily routines. Parents may also lose their patience very
quickly, when children fail to do their work. If you want to teach your
children to become independent, you should be capable of showing
them how one could become independent to lead his or her daily life.
Parents usually underestimate their children's capabilities
Many parents are notorious for over protecting their children,
because they do not believe in their children's abilities and strengths.
This attitude may spoil their children and make them over-reliant and
extra dependent on their parents. Another reason could be parents'
belief that children will feel bad, when they ask them to do their own
work and tasks.
Parents simply love their children and always like to work for them
Concerned with extra care,
love and affection, many parents simply forget that they could create
children, who are incapable of performing their own tasks, if they go on
doing work for them. Parents should try to know the future consequences
of not allowing their children to become self-reliant and independent.
Unnecessary sheltering and over protecting would have their own
consequences that are always counterproductive and negative. It is right
time for parents to help their children to stand up on their legs and
lead an independent life.
Here are some simple steps to
make your children independent:
Ensure children their own “free time for me” opportunity
Allow little freedom to your children, so that they can introspect and evaluate about
their future life. Ask them to carry out some tasks that do not need
your help and time. When you allow sufficient freedom for your children
to carry out self-introspection, they will understand importance of
leading an independent life.
Ask children to work on small projects
Assign some simple projects that do not
need your assistance. Tell them in detail about goals and objectives
tied with those projects and ask them to work on them to reach
goalposts. Set a timeline and help them only when it is necessary.
Failure is a gradual process to future success
Failure is a great teacher. It can help children learn many things.
Frequent failures will make children determined and focused. They will
also help them learn how to be independent, so that they can solve
problems without your help. Explain them why they should not worry too
much about failure, and assure them that they can solve any problems by
using their own intellect and decisions.
Allow children to act independently to choose their options
Give children numerous options to make their own decisions. Let them choose
what they want although with some riders and conditions. For example,
give them options in the following manner:
Seek help from children to finish household chore
Make it compulsory for children to help you in finishing common
household chore. It can relate to cleaning kitchen or dining table. It
could even be helping in cooking food. Sometimes, you can ask them to
help you clean the entire house.
The greatest thing that you can
do to children is to help them become independent. In the next article
in this series, let us know and understand numerous methods to overcome
obstacles and in what manner parents could teach and train their
children to become independent and self-reliant. Continue to read
Teach Your Children to be Independent - Methods and Techniques