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  • 3 Tips on How to Raise Independent Children

    Here are some tips on how to help nurture the gift of independence early on in your child.
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    2. Let him accomplish his homework with minimal supervision.
    There’s a big difference between letting your child figure out his assignment and you ending up doing it for him. While it’s important that your child knows he can depend on you for guidance, remember that that’s exactly what you’re there for: guidance.

    Assess the difficulty of the homework, and let your child discern what is being asked of him. Ask questions so you can gauge just how much your child understood from the lesson. Giving examples is alright, but don’t flat out answer the homework for him. Gently prodding is key. Steer him into the path of thinking that is required so he learns to do his homework by himself.

    Don’t tempt him to keep asking you for help by just being around while he does this himself. Instead, sit with him for a few minutes, perhaps, but don’t stay there. Attend to other needs in the house and go check on him every once in a while just to monitor his progress.

    3. Allow him to make decisions on his own.
    When a child is ready to make choices, that means he’s showing signs already of being responsible for his thoughts and actions. That means he’s thinking and using his knowledge of what is correct and incorrect.

    Begin with simple decisions like “Would you like to use the bathroom right before we leave for the trip or can you wait until the first stop over?” This way, he’ll discover for himself what are the consequences of not using the bathroom before a trip.

    Respond with openness and patience. Avoid reprimanding him, and instead calmly explain to him the nature of his mistake, so he’ll feel that making wrong decisions is part of the whole learning process, and eventually, of gaining independence.

    You may also want to read:
    •    Fostering Independence in Your Preschooler

    •    February 5, 2009. “How to raise children: A 10-point guide to domestic bliss”
    •    November 17, 2010. Jim Taylor, Ph.D. “Parenting: Raise Independent Children”
    •    “3 Things You Should Never Do For Your Kids”

    Photography by Ocs Alvarez

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