Ways to Encourage Your Child to be Self-Sufficient

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How often does your child do something that you turn around and basically tell them is wrong?  You probably don’t even realize you are correcting them because you are just trying to help, but such correction can cause them to be needier now and in the future.  For example, your child cleans their room and you tell them their toys are in the wrong place.  Instead, you should be praising them for thinking for themselves and making the decision regarding where they wanted to put everything.  Perhaps a few minutes after you praise them for their job well done, you can then ask how they would feel about their toys going somewhere else.  Do they think it’s a good idea?  If you ask the right way, they will agree with you, but think it is their idea because they made the decision.  Helping your child become self-sufficient is important.

Below are a few ways how you can easily do this:

Compliment Small Steps

Every time your child decides to do something helpful without asking is a big deal.  Acknowledge these steps.  Even if they decide to make their own sandwich instead of bothering you, but leave a huge mess, they still did something on their own.  By praising these efforts, you encourage them to continue to make them.

Give More Responsibility

Younger kids are often eager to help with chores around the house, but since they take a little longer to do them, or don’t do them right, they are told to go play, read, watch TV, etc.  This discourages them from wanting to be helpful because they feel like nothing they do is right or good enough.

For example, your indoor water elements need cleaning and although your child wants to help, you know they will be in your way.  Why not let them clean the outdoor fountains instead?  You don’t have to worry about them getting water all over and they are easily sprayed out with a hose. They will feel very important being trusted with such a huge responsibility, and face it, outdoor fountains can always use cleaning.  If you don’t have any yet for your outdoor living space, you can find a good selection of outdoor water fountains online at stores like SoothingWalls.com.

Don’t Provide All the Answers

Kids have a habit of asking where something is before they even look for it. You know that if they think about it for a minute they will know exactly where to look. When they ask where something is that they should know the answer to tell them it’s where it always is. Rather than providing solutions, give them clues.

Praise Indirectly

Let them hear you talking about them.  Whether you are on the phone with someone or talking to your significant other loud enough for them to hear, praise them for something they did.  This could be something as simple as finishing a new book or setting the table with everything in its proper place.

Photo Credit:  kidsactivitiesblog.com

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