Helping Your Child Become More Independent

If your child is naturally confident, then teaching them to be independent might not be something you’ve previously considered. However, even the most confident child can learn some new skills in this area. This independent boarding school believes in drawing out the individual strengths in a child – helping them to become a fully-rounded individual who is confident in all they do. Here are some tips to help your child become more independent.

Younger children

Little children are naturally very attached to their parents and caregivers. It’s normal for them to want to be by your side at all times. Encouraging them to spend a little time away from you at playgroups or even in the park is vital so that they can strike out and learn more social skills.

For shyer children this can be a challenge. Help them to grow more independent in small increments. It might be through trying new foods or saying hello to a neighbour or shopkeeper – whatever it is, try to challenge them in some way daily. As they grow in independence, their journey into school will become much easier.

Older children

Older children have more challenges to face. They are more than likely in school full time and need to have a degree of resilience to cope with that. Talk to your child about what worries them if they are shy or anxious. Let them know that you are there to support them.

A good question to ask an anxious child is “What is the worst thing that could happen?” Often, just coming up with the response to this question makes them realise that their fears are unfounded and if they’re not, just give them a solution to their fears. For example – your child is afraid to walk to school alone. You ask them what is the worst thing that could happen and they say they’re afraid of getting lost. So, you give them the solution to that problem. They could call you on a telephone or go into a shop and ask the shop assistant for help. Once children realise that they can help themselves, much of their natural fears disappear.

It’s this idea of helping themselves that is at the core of growing more independent. Teach them the basic self-care skills necessary for children to get by in life. How to use a map, how to remember their own address and telephone numbers, how to call emergency services. These are all useful skills and a child who understands how to help themselves in this way will naturally feel more independent.

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