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The Best Ways to Encourage Independence in Children

Updated: Feb 13

Parents fostering children's independence is vital for their growth. The debate on "free-range children" overlooks diverse methods of fostering self-reliance. While allowing activities such as park play or independent school walks is beneficial, labelling cautious parents as "helicopter parents" is unjust. Some accompany their children due to safety concerns or to strengthen the parent-child bond. Parents can nurture independence through diverse approaches, ensuring children's confidence and self-sufficiency. Promoting self-reliance entails steps beyond mere freedom in activities, guiding children towards independence.

Engaging in Domestic Tasks

Performing household chores can offer a sense of accomplishment, contribute to a clean and organised living space and promote physical activity. Moreover, completing these tasks can aid in developing crucial life skills, fostering a sense of responsibility and independence.

Managing Timetable

Encourage children to maintain their schedule by providing a calendar and teaching them to record significant dates and appointments. As they grow older, it becomes crucial for them to manage their own commitments, such as medical appointments, playdates, friends' birthdays, extracurricular activities and performances. By fostering independence, children will learn to rely on themselves rather than their parents to stay organised and be aware of their responsibilities.

Maintaining Homework and Test Records

Assisting kindergarten and lower-primary school-going children in organising their homework and instilling the practice of keeping track of upcoming tests is one aspect. However, it becomes a different scenario when a typically developing upper-primary or secondary school student requires parental assistance in managing their schoolwork.

Establishing commendable work habits at an early stage enables children to learn how to handle their responsibilities autonomously as they grow older, eliminating the need for constant reminders from parents regarding their academic tasks and deadlines.

Creating Meal Plans and Organising Grocery Lists

Teaching children to cook fosters valuable skills and creates bonding moments. Involving children in kitchen activities, such as shopping and meal preparation, cultivates healthy eating habits and strengthens family bonds. By encouraging children to assist in cooking and gradually take charge of meals, parents empower them with independence and essential life skills.

Providing Support to Younger Siblings and Other Children

Babysitting is an effective way of cultivating responsibility and maturity in children, as demonstrated by reliable and compassionate teenage babysitters which we see around us. The definition of babysitting for school-age children varies among families; some may assign a 9-year-old to engage in activities with a younger sibling under adult supervision, while others may feel comfortable leaving a 10-year-old in charge of a 7-year-old during brief errands. This practice nurtures independence and strengthens the older children's sense of responsibility.

Developing Independence in Thought

Cultivate children's ability to think independently by instilling the practice of forming their own opinions. Engage in discussions about various subjects, such as current news events, historical milestones and fictional stories, during shared meals or car rides. Encourage children to express their thoughts and ideas and ensure that you attentively listen to them. By doing so, you convey the message that their opinions are important to you and that their thoughts and perspectives hold value.

How We Can Help

At Mentalmatics, we also prioritize independent learning in children. Our mental arithmetic program reflects this commitment, which incorporates a 2-handed, 4-finger abacus system, where children rely solely on their abilities to perform such calculations.

In addition, their motor and cognitive skills are honed through this program. Our mental arithmetic technique can enhance children's inclination toward independent learning. Our teachers transition from trainers to coaches to facilitators as children progress through their levels and parental involvement becomes minimal as children are trained to utilise methods used in class to perform more complex calculations.

To find out more, make a reservation to talk to us using the link below!

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