With great parenting comes great responsibility. It involves preparing your kids for the future and nurturing them to become their greatest selves as best as you can, despite the many challenges. Of the many things a parent can impart to their child, one of the most important life-long lessons, which is both a value and a skill, is how to be truly independent. In today’s world, it’s so easy for the young to be swayed and influenced into thinking or acting a certain way. How can you be sure your child develops assertiveness, resourcefulness as well as a strong sense of responsibility, and the emotional intelligence to face life’s challenges? First, it should begin with how you treat them early in life. Simple, right?
Here are more specific tips to raise kids who are self-sufficient and truly independent, according to Jim Taylor, Ph. D. of Psychology Today.
1. Love and respect them – and make sure they know it!
Parents love and care for their kids, but it’s important to make sure you take every opportunity to remind them of this. The world will beat them down, so it’s your job to shower them with love and respect so they can develop a sense of security early in life.
2. Show confidence in their abilities
Teaching them how to be responsible goes hand in hand with assuring them that you believe in them. No one is born with self-confidence; it’s the product of early life experiences. Make sure that you build them up every chance you get. Celebrate their strengths and reassure them that their weaknesses and flaws are also to be embraced.
3. Empower them to have control over their lives
With this, you should also teach them responsibility and accountability. Often, we want to shield our child from disappointment by reinforcing the notion that “nothing is ever their fault.” In the process, we might be depriving them of a valuable life lesson. Lecture them with love, while encouraging them to form their own opinions. Of course, disciplining and setting limits is necessary, especially for “stubborn” kids, but since we’re on the subject of forming independence, this should not be overlooked.
4. Trust them to make decisions, but be there to guide them
Once you’ve empowered them, you need to truly trust them. This is especially true for parents of pre-teens or teens. They are at an age where they are forming their own identity, allow them to do so. Let them make guided mistakes, but be sure to be there for them when they need advice.
Of course, parents know what’s best for children. These tips are simply suggestions to get you started on your journey to raising kids who are truly self-reliant! Are there any tips you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!
READ: 7 Parenting mistakes attentive parents NEVER make
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