3 Ways To Encourage Your Child To Be Independent

Posted on: 16 February 2016


Part of being a preschooler is becoming more independent. As the parent of a preschooler, you have to guide your little one towards independence in a positive manner. Without your guidance, your child could start to assert his or her independence in a negative way. Here are some tips to help guide your child in the right direction. 

Allow Your Child To Get Ready 

Mornings are usually busy, but it is a great time to encourage independence in your child. Even though getting him or her dressed for preschool is faster and easier, allow your child to do most or all of it alone. 

When your child gets dressed alone, he or she is getting the practice needed to do it in the future. You do not have to leave your child completely alone. You can talk him or her through the experience and even help with the trickier parts, such as tying shoes. 

To make it easier, lay out your child's clothes the night before. Even if your child does not get it perfect the first few times around, compliment him or her. By praising your child's efforts, you are encouraging him or her to keep trying. 

Give Your Child Choices

An important aspect of being independent is the freedom to make choices. You can help your child realize this by giving him or her choices throughout the day. 

Keep the choices simple. You should avoid asking an open-ended question, such as "What do you want to eat?" Try to keep the questions closed-ended to limit the amount of time your child spends making the decision and to make decision-making simpler. For instance, asking "Do you want to eat spaghetti or chicken?" only allows for two choices and cuts down on confusion.

Assign Chores To Your Child

Obviously, you cannot expect your preschooler to tackle such tasks as washing dishes, but there are smaller chores that he or she can do that can help build responsibility and independence. Chores can include tasks, such as picking up his or her toys after play, brushing and flossing, and helping to feed pets. 

Remember to praise your child for finishing his or her chores. You can also set up a reward system for consistently to teach your child about the value of working. 

There are other ways that you can help guide your child towards a positive assertion of independence. Your child's preschool teacher can be an excellent source of help when determining what does and does not work when it comes to teaching independence. Contact a local preschool, such as Small World Early Learning & Development Center, for insights on your preschooler's needs.