Independence is something that your children are going to need to learn before they leave your home. They’re going to have to be strong enough and resourceful enough to take care of themselves without turning to their parents for assistance. You can instill some of the elements of independence while they’re still growing so that they’ll have the tools necessary to survive when the time comes. These are some tips for helping your children to be more independent:
1. Assign Household Chores and Allowance
The first system that you can implement within your household to cultivate independence is the system of chores and allowance. You can assign your children chores that they’re responsible for doing every day. You can offer them an allowance if they do the chores every day as they’re supposed to, and they do them correctly. You can even introduce the concept of adjusting the allowance according to their time spent on the chores. For example, you can pay your child $12 for a week’s worth of chores instead of $14 if he or she misses a day. Your children will learn a lot about how to earn money by working for an employer when they’re grown. They’ll also learn the consequences of not showing up to work and being responsible. It’s a great way to introduce adulthood while still keeping things fun.
2. Try Boarding School
You may also want to consider sending your children to a boarding school in Virginia for a curriculum that can help them prepare for college. If you have younger children, you can try sending them to summer camp. The idea of sending them away is to give them the opportunity to see what life is like on their own and to instill some independence. After all, they’re not going to have you around always. Therefore, they can get some great lessons in adulthood by attending a learning or recreational institution away from home.
3. Let Them Go on Unsupervised Dates or Hangouts
Letting your teenage kids have some time on unsupervised dates or hangouts can help to develop their sense of independence. It will also allow them a chance to show you that they can be trustworthy and responsible. Allow them to go to a movie with a date or hang out with their friends at a skate park or respectable party. Give them a cell phone to keep in touch with you if necessary. The experience could improve your relationship with them in the end.
4. Make Them Latchkey Kids
You can also help your children to develop a sense of independence when they’re old enough to stay by themselves after school. You could give them a key and allow them the opportunity to care for themselves until you return from work. You could leave certain foods out so that they can prepare their own meals, as well. That will give them a good dose of the independence they’ll need to survive in the world.
5. Encourage Independent Thinking and Opinions
You must also allow your children to be independent thinkers. That means that you should let them form their own opinions and draw their own conclusions about current events and various aspects of their lives. Listen to them when they want to discuss these matters and respect their individual beliefs and desires. Encouraging independent thinking is one of the most powerful ways you can cultivate independence.
6. Allow Young Children to Have Alone Time
For the younger children, you can start teaching them independence by giving them alone time and letting them get used to it. Many parents love to hold and coddle their younger children quite often. Showing your love as a parent is a wonderful thing. However, you must balance that coddling and nurturing with an even amount of alone time. That way, your child won’t be shell-shocked the first time he or she has to go to school or stay with a babysitter while you’re at work.
Start Building Your Kids’ Independence Today
Now you know of some good ways you can help your children with their independence. Try those methods and give your kids a brighter future.
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