Teaching your kids how to be independent will not only make life easier for you but it will also put them on a path towards becoming responsible adults one day.
Would life not be easier if your kids made their own snacks, helped around with the household chores and picked up after themselves?
Now, we’re not saying it’s going to be easy because as the saying goes “It takes a village to raise a child” but by putting some strategies in place does certainly make things easier, one day at a time.
We’ve all seen it before, kids do better when they have a structured routine in place (even though on some days they do not stick 100% to it!). It also teaches them how to do things in sequence and in an orderly manner.
A morning routine, for example, might involve:
Brushing teeth, getting dressed, brushing their hair, eating breakfast, etc.
Same goes for an afterschool or night time routine which can be personalised to your own family’s needs.
Take Time To Teach
Even though this will definitely take up some of your time, it is worth considering it as an investment. The time you spend teaching your child how to complete a task (age-appropriate of course) will benefit both you and them in the end.
Show them how to clean up the kitchen after making some yummy Tantalize Sugar-Free Jellies from Delite Foods for example.
Make Your Expectations Known
Create reasonable expectations that your child can try their best to meet. We often think that our kids cannot do certain tasks but have over and over again been proven wrong and surprised by their potential, if given the opportunity. Make your expectations clear and known to them by saying “I expect you to place your dirty glass in the sink when you’re done drinking your Tantalize Milky Mix”.
Decide on a task that you would like your child to start doing independently. Remember not to overwhelm them with too many tasks with reward charts. Just one or two tasks will do and once they learn to do it independently on their own, move onto the next. For children who can’t yet read, provide pictures that show them what to do step-by-step. There are many free available reward charts that be found online or you can make your own.
Praise & Incentives
Sometimes without realising it, we give our kids attention for negative behaviour when they break rules or act out. It is key to reinforce good behaviour and praise them for that. Saying things like “I am so impressed that you did all your homework by yourself” or “Thank you for putting your dirty dishes in the sink, great job!”
The reward chart may go hand in hand with incentives. Offer your child an incentive (which could be daily/weekly/monthly depending on the incentive) for a completed task. Every child is different, so you have to consider their interests when thinking of incentives. For example, you might say, “When you get your homework done before dinner every day, then you can get some Tantalize Gummy Bears.”