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Confidence is one of the greatest gifts we can give children. Allowing your child to become more independent as they grow up, is a great life skill for them to learn from a young age. As grown ups, whether you’re a parent or a care giver, you’ll be there to guide them through and let them learn independence in a safe environment. Learning from mistakes is one of the greatest and most efficient ways of learning, otherwise known as cause and effect.

Creating safe ways and opportunities for your little ones to learn and gain a sense of independence is a great way of letting them grow and develop. Here are my way of enhancing independence with your little ones…

 

Choices…

Give your children a choice. Whether it’s what they’re wearing for the day, what they’re eating for dinner, what activity they’d like to do. Let them pick. Sometimes, it’s better to give them options, for example, would you like to wear this or that. This way, you have some power over the situation, but also giving them some control!

 

Positive Reinforcement…

If your child tries to do something for themselves, but struggles, instead of rushing over and correcting them, give them some positive reinforcement! Phrases such as “well done for trying, I am so proud of you” or “wow you did that all by yourself, how grown up” will really boost their confidence to keep going!

 

Expectations…

Set realistic expectations, for both you and your children! You can’t expect a 2 year old to get dressed totally independently, however, you may be able to encourage them to help you set them table. Manage your expectations accordingly!!

 

Help them out…

You can’t expect your child to get ready to go to the park independently when their coat is hung up at adult height. Make things more accessible for them, pop up some child level coat hooks, leave their wellies by the door, steps in the bathroom to help them reach the sink, get toy boxes that they can reach to help tidy up. If you help them…they’ll help you!

 

Responsibility…

Once they’ve reached a certain age, you can give your children age appropriate ‘household chores’. Simple tasks as feeding the dog, helping set the table, making their beds, getting their school bag ready the night before, helping put the shopping away are all great examples of what you can expect your child to do. Giving them some sort of responsibility will also give them the feeling of more independence and confidence.

 

Siblings…

Got more than one? Let them help out with siblings as much as you can, and as much that you deem as safe! I’m not saying let them carry your newborn baby all over the house, but get them to pass you over a nappy and some wipes!

 

Cutlery…

One of the best investments you’ll be making! Buying some child friendly cutlery will quickly encourage your child to eat by themselves, and then they can start cutting up their food too! This is something else (quite literally!) off your plate that you won’t need to worry about.

 

Remember, confidence is the best gift, we, as parents and caregivers, can give children. This can start from day dot, so it’s worth taking your time passing this on to your little ones!