11 July 2011

Tips to help your kids become more self-reliant

If you're a parent, self-reliance isn't just about you. It's equally important to teach your kids how they can do things for themselves, and not rely on you for everything.

I came across a great Shreveport Times piece that discusses just this subject, and provides the following tips for raising an independent child:
Photo Illustration by Henrietta Wildsmith
  1. Start teaching children independence at an early age by giving them a one-step instruction.
  2. As children enter into school, help them understand that homework is part of their "job."
  3. Praise your child for completing tasks.
  4. As the child gets older increase their responsibilities, including household duties.
  5. Start a dialogue with your child about the responsibilities they think they should have.
  6. Don't lecture a child about why it's important that they do this or don't do this. State your expectations and stay very neutral in your tone and with what you're saying.
  7. Model what you want your child to do. They're going to pick up on what you do much faster than what you say.
  8. Be consistent and don't complete the task for them.
Like Heather Thompson (one of the mothers quoted in the article) says, doing these things "...teaches them responsibility and self-reliance. It teaches them that they have to make their own way in this world."

What do you think? How have you tried to help your kids be more self-reliant?

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