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Raising independent children, degrees of independence by age

Raising safe, independent children is not an easy task. We need to know when to intervene and when to give space. The space they need to acquire life skills. The skills you stay with them after you’ve had to face challenges and difficulties. Moreover, this aspect of fatherhood requires a lot of patience, a lot of affection, and wisdom with which we can feel your needs. The more we involve them in age-appropriate tasks and activities, the more we’ll be surprised how capable they are.

Educate independent children.

We have reached a point where it has become a priority to solve any problem our children encounter in their path. Sometimes we even try to anticipate those problems. All this to ensure that our children can live an easier, quieter, and more rewarding life. In this way, we surround them with an almost magical rest. And it also gives us peace of mind because we know everything is fine.

All of this is understandable, however, some parents do this to the extreme. By smoothing our children’s ways every day and in all circumstances, we deprive them of much-needed skill. The ability to act on their own. This capacity is independence and autonomy.

Independence as a skill set in which someone learns to be responsible for their world, to organize and manage their own things, to learn from their mistakes, and to develop a sense of self-efficacy.

Let’s look at some strategies we can use to raise independent and self-confident children.

Knowing when to intervene and when to guide remotely

Raising a child is like a dance. At certain times you have to hug him and hold him, and then, soon after, you have to let him go. We must understand that even when a dance partner has been given the freedom to perform his own steps and movements, the other part is still there to observe and direct from a distance.

Knowing when to act and when to back off is not easy. First, it is required that you be able to apply some of the basic rules for coexistence. We are talking about a framework in which every member of the house has its own responsibilities. If everyone accepts and performs these responsibilities correctly, certain household rights can be obtained. In this way, family agreements of this type help a child grow up in a safe and happy environment. As a result, they will always know what is expected of them.

Having and offering confidence

To raise independent children, we must offer them confidence. Have faith in us as parents or educators and have faith in yourself. In this way, the child will grow up in an environment where he will be constantly appreciated and where affection and attention will always be present. There are no fears or barriers when the child has to communicate their problems and needs. In addition, the child will have more confidence to be able to do almost everything for himself.

Show your kids how to make healthy choices

What do we mean by healthy choices? Healthy or satisfying options are options that allow the child to learn. They open the way for a child to accept responsibility for their actions. The child will understand that his actions have consequences. You will notice that your bad behavior affects yourself and your environment. However, we must also show our children that it is good to ask for advice. They also need to know that they have the freedom to accept that advice or follow their own instincts.

Another factor to consider when raising independent children is that each child has their own personality, preferences, and passions. As adults, we cannot mediate all of our children’s decisions and choices. However, we can guide and advise them.

Teach your children to take responsibility for small and large tasks.

Ensuring a child is responsible requires three things: time, patience, and affection. As we raise our children, we often make the mistake of wanting our children to acquire a lot of skills too quickly. Another thing we need to pay attention to is that we are often quite incompetent when it comes to facing the daily challenges that arise when we least expect them.

One way to help children acquire these skills is to understand that children can take responsibility from a very young age. For example, at the age of 3, they can now learn how to clean and sort their toys themselves. They can even help us in small household chores, such as placing and cleaning the table, watering plants, caring for pets, etc.

The application of rules, tasks and responsibilities is essential. This allows them to grow up knowing that they are capable of much more than they thought possible. They will learn that taking responsibility is equivalent to growing. You will also see that the successful performance of these tasks reinforces your self-esteem.

Teach your kids how to deal with frustration

An essential strategy for educating responsible and independent children is to help them develop patience and the ability to cope with small everyday problems. We must let our children experience frustration and deal with it. In this way, it becomes unsuspecting teenagers and adults. Therefore, you should never doubt the power of the word “no” when necessary. Saying “no” at the right time and in the right circumstances will bring great long-term benefits.

Help your kids develop self-control

Teach your kids to look at each other from the inside. Help them understand their emotions. This allows them to handle daily problems and challenges much better. To achieve this, there is nothing better than giving them an education that depends on the means of emotional intelligence.

Why is it important to help your children develop social competence?

Developing the right social skills in children will help them build more fulfilling relationships. In addition, this will also give them a more positive image of herself and develop a healthy and enriching social competence. Something as basic as establishing true empathy and assertiveness will help them form more positive connections in their environment. They’ll be able to handle bullying or prevent it.

During this “adventure” of raising independent children, who are confident and above all happy, we must not neglect a fundamental aspect: ourselves. It is the mother, father, grandparents, and other family members who are part of this child’s life. We must set a good example. We are the ones we can appreciate or damage. We are the ones who can give wings to fly, or we can build a cage of indecision, dependence, and frustration. Let us remember that words leave their mark, appreciate affection, and examples set the way forward.

Acquiring habits

– It is an ongoing, gradual, and lifelong process.

– You need a satisfactory and pleasant process for the child.

– Must produce success (especially at first).

– It must be reinforced at the right time.

– The family must be patient and precise in the descriptions of the behaviors.

– Parents should collaborate and set clear standards.

– It is a relaxed, quiet, and adapted atmosphere.

– The child must want to collaborate (to do this you have to motivate him).

Some age-based autonomy tips

As I said earlier, autonomy and independence is not innate but is a learning process in which parents must respect the child’s abilities, their pace of development and abandon over-protection, young children fall, make mistakes, get bad and get angry but the purpose is not to avoid this but to know how to function in each of these situations.

– From the age of 2 and a half you should start teaching children to perform certain age-appropriate habits on their own, such as eating alone using cutlery, leaving the diaper, walking and helplessly, and asking for what they need by calling it by name.

– Three to five years the language develops and it is time to teach him to communicate using the right words even if he has a hard time pronouncing them (dog and not wow). They can also start acquiring emotional vocabulary. So the child can talk about his wishes or explain how he or she feels. With regard to habits, it is time to eat alone, start dressing, and acquire basic hygiene or responsibility guidelines (e.g. remove your dish from the table after eating).

– From the age of 6: tasks and responsibilities are expanded (make your bed, prepare clothes, shower…), including those that have to do with the school (prepare the backpack…)


– Organize your time: daily tasks, study time, and free time.

– Organize your personal space: your room, choose your clothes.

– Other spaces: other houses, the street, and the school.

– Shared routines: “The person in charge of…” the shopping list, water the plants, the pets, set the table…

Most children work very well with routines, then ideally getting those habits to become routine. With proper practice, habits are acquired in approximately 3 weeks.

All the information we give you in this article is indicative as each child and each family is different and unique.

Carolina González Ramos

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