Teaching your child to be independent doesn’t happen by accident. Raising independent kids takes deliberate work and specific encouragement from parents.
Encouraging independence helps children become responsible as adults. Encouraging children to be independent begins early as they start developing their independence.
Here are some ways to support your child as they become more independent.
Starting from the time your kids are very young, it’s important to begin establishing routines. This is especially important for co-parents when your children move between households. Developing and maintaining regular routines, especially in the morning and at night, allows kids to create positive habits. This helps them perform daily activities more independently at school and in both homes.
Children love to mimic the adults around them when they are very young, often by “playing house” and pretending to do chores. When children are allowed to help as early as 2 years old, they are often more open to having responsibilities around the house later on. Here are some chores suitable for younger children.
Chores for 2 to 4-Year-Olds
Chores for 4 to 6-Year-Olds
It is better if co-parents have similar chores in both households because consistent expectations help children build resistance and independence. Research shows that children given chores early help your child become more independent as an adult.
What for opportunities to praise your child when they accomplish something that demonstrates independence. Kids often get a lot of attention when they break the rules. Praising your child when they do a good job or display positive behaviors is more beneficial to form a foundation for independence.
When children are allowed to (age appropriately) organize their own schedules, they learn hands-on about being independent. Give your child a shared family calendar app to add important events. For co-parenting, scheduling is critical, so including your child in the process as early as possible is also important. The 2houses shared calendar app feature lets you keep track of your child’s schedule, all in one place. Ideal on transition days, but also helpful for busy school activities.
Help your child set priorities to instill a greater sense of independence. As your child gets older, sit down to discuss their interests, needs, and goals. Explain how priorities help a person decide what to do to achieve goals and let them make some age-appropriate decisions. This helps develop a foundation of strong, independent behaviors.
Teaching your child to be independent requires deliberate choices from both co-parents. Practice these strategies with as much consistency between your two homes as possible. Start early to instill independence in your child to lead to a more independent, responsible adulthood. The 2houses shared family calendar app helps you and your co-parent support your child’s independence at every age.
Create a parenting schedule