Your kids spend many years under your protection and supervision. It can be difficult to encourage independence in them as they grow, but this is a necessary rite of passage. To help prepare your offspring for adulthood, teach self-sufficiency and responsibility to your kids. These important life skills will help ensure future success, because your children will have realistic preparation for the challenges and difficulties that await them as adults.
Assign household chores to your children from an early age to teach skills and to instill responsibility. Even preschoolers from age 3 or 4 can have daily chores, such as setting the table, picking up dirty laundry and folding towels. Children who have regular chores often demonstrate increased responsibility in general.
Set expectations for tasks your child can perform for herself. Activities such as dressing and bathing may take time to master, but with encouragement, you can help your child assume responsibility for tasks.
Provide your child with a positive example in your own self-sufficiency and proactive attitude about handling work. When a child sees parents or other caregivers completing work diligently and efficiently, it’s likely he will adopt the same positive work ethic and attitude.
Resist the urge to perform tasks for your child that she can perform herself. If you assume too many responsibilities for your child without transferring them to your youngster when she’s ready, you risk not preparing her adequately and sufficiently for independence, the Dr. Phil website warns. You could enable your child to stay overly dependent on you because of a lack of preparation.
Reassess and adjust your child’s responsibilities as he grows to keep assigned tasks appropriate to your child's age. Remember some tasks your child assumes may take longer when he does them, but this doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have this responsibility. He will gradually learn and become more adept at tasks with practice.
Encourage and praise your youngster as he gains mastery of responsibilities. For example,if your younger child sees a mess on the floor and gets a broom to sweep up the debris, make note of her efforts and thank her.