Help your Child be Confident and Independent

As a parent one of your goals is to guide and teach your children to be progressively independent as they grow. Your role to achieve this goal is to ease their fear, to show them what they can do, givingĀ  them a sense of security by being there alongside them, no matter what their endeavors are. Be a role model for your child. Being independent yourself provides your child the best example to learn from. Make sure you have a healthy balance in your own relationships and that you maintain your own independence and individuality. Your children will learn to withstand being separate when they see that you are all right being separate. Co-dependent, entrapped relationships of your own will hurt your children as they sense and learn signals of helplessness and become afraid to be independent. Show your child it is OK to be separate, that it is OK to be alone some times, that it is OK to have your own opinion which may differ from others’ , and that it is OK and good to need some personal time. Take conflict in a healthy manner by listening, understanding and respecting others’ opinions and concerns. Do not blame others when conflict arises, blame just destroys. Instead be constructive and show and explain to your child that you can have different points of view and that you can also reach a compromise to get a good resolution to conflict by taking each other’s concerns into account. Recognizing your own mistakes together with an explanation is very helpful too. It shows your child you are human and as such, liable to make mistakes. Show your child your accomplishments in every-day life, even when they are small, like finding the missing sock: “I couldn’t find it, but I did not give up and I finally found it!” This will encourage them to try and accomplish things by themselves, and succeed most of the time. When your child is one that gives up easily, you need to show them perseverance by encouraging him to keep on trying, supporting them each time until they get it right. If you are unsuccessful at a particular task, highlight it to them and show them how you cope with the situation. By doing this, you are teaching them resilience, you are teaching that failure is part of success and we don’t get everything right every time. That we survive failure to try again in a different way, or just do something else and be OK with that. Remind your children that when they feel they can’t do it alone, you are there and will help them until they do it independently. Your help can imply physical involvement, verbal involvement, or mere presence. Teaching them they are able to do it by themselves. Asking your children for their opinion and advice on every-day tasks and follow their advice. It’ll show them that you value their opinion and suggestions, involve them actively in the task at hand. This will make them feel as a valuable asset to you. Praise them for the good advice while explaining how their advice influenced the outcome: “Your idea of chopping the onions first was really good for the recipe” Show your children you trust them. As they grow up, gradually extend unstructured boundaries. This trust will help them mature in a healthy way, and they will view their independence as a privilege, not as something to fear.