Raising a child is never simple. All the difficult moments are eventually overshadowed by the enjoyable ones. You are overrun with love as you help your child, making things easier for your baby. No matter how used you and your child are to this regime, it can’t last forever.
We often forget that our parenting decisions form an entire young being. Parenting “to get through the day” is the worst decision you can make. Thinking ahead will teach your child to be confident and independent.
Announce the changes to your child
Children are people too. They’re just way more energetic and curious than you and me. Because of this, they require extra explanations for everything you do. No matter how long of a day you’ve had, always take time to elaborate to your child. It doesn’t understand? Teach him to understand.
The same goes when it comes to teaching the child to be more independent. Respect goes a long way. Communicate with your son and daughter like they’re your equals:
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t treat you like a little baby! You’re a big boy now and big boys do big boy jobs! You can do it”
Make a list
Sometimes, it is this simple. Think about it for a day or two and write it down. Let’s say there are 15 tasks your daughter can do all by herself. Putting them on a paper makes it easier for you to plan and think ahead.
This comes down to the basic principle – thing that you expect your child to do, do them yourself too. Making a list shows just that –a will to organize yourself and commit to your child’s development.
“Honey, how about we start brushing our teeth on our own from tomorrow morning? Meet mommy in the bathroom and we can do it together!”
Your child looks up to you. By involving him or her, you give them a sense of belonging, a sense of equality. That will motivate them to become both more confident and more responsible.
Be ready to negotiate
Children drive a hard bargain. They find it hard to rationalize that not everything can be the way they want it. Like we’ve said – expect from yourself the same things you expect from them. If they can’t have it their way entirely, neither can you.
That is completely fine. This is good when it comes to chores. Doing chores is an essential part of the independence process. We’ll cover them later in a separate section. The key is to, at first, come out with an “absolutist” plan. You kid is likely to say no. Instead of insisting, think of lowering your expectations.
“Honey, when you wake up, could you please wash the dishes and clean the table after our breakfast?”
“No mom, I don’t want to!”
“Okay, how about I wash the dishes and you clean the table? If we do it at the same time, we can finish faster and go play”
By introducing little responsibilities, you help the child grow. They will become confident in what they can do. As their confidence grows, so does their independence. The key is letting them know they CAN do it.
Introducing chores into their lives
Chores are much more than just not having to do everything on your own. Chores are a way of showing the child how both society and a household function. It teaches them discipline and shows them that they have no choice but to be independent.
The key is to make everyone – you, your husband, your children, completely equal. If the parents have the same number of chores as the kid, the kid will see it as a form of trust. Like we’ve mentioned, there may be resistance, so introduce chores in small amounts.
“Okay honey, since you’re a big boy and all, you can take care of our home. Like every big boy, you can help mommy wash the dishes and clean the table, okay?”
Forget about perfection
They will make mistakes. Let them by all means. It’s an important way of learning about life. You can tell your child how to properly carry a glass ten million times, they won’t get it. The first time they crack it – they will realize how to do it and how to act.
If they make a mistake, tell them it’s okay and that everyone makes them. At the same time, show them how to properly clean up their things. Reward them with things that they like if they do their tasks in a proper manner. It can be toys – ride on toys, educational toys, power wheels or anything that they like. Maybe a picnic or a movie during the weekend.
As a parent, you mustn’t be either an angel or a devil. Your child won’t learn if you are too strict or if you’re too lenient.
The ideal mix is – patience, planning, and understanding. Be patient with your child, stick ahead with the plan and understand what they’re going through. They will be grateful one day.
About the Author: Tom Hardy is theco-founder of Toys Advisors blog. He has have a lovely family with his wife Sophie, son Quentin and daughter Sarah. He spends most of his time with his family, and he learns and shares about parenting and DIY