Raising any child to be independent is certainly a big challenge. As a parent of a homeschooler, I can say that this is definitely easier said than done. Part of the process is being able to let go in certain circumstances, as a parent, so that your child can think, and figure out things for themselves. This process is a gradual one, and requires a lot of effort on the part of the parent. It also means that you have to show them by your own example. One thing that most children do is follow the example set by their parents. For me the goal is to teach my kids to think for themselves and not follow the crowd. So I thought it would be a good idea to make a list of tips on how you can help your children learn to be an independent, responsible person.
1. Master something new
Each week take the time to show your child something different. It can be something as simple as teaching them to look at things from a different perspective. Whether it be their school work, or even solving a problem that they are having with their siblings, or their friends. Teaching them that there is more than one way to think is really the first step in helping them to be an independent person.
2. Avoid criticism
You want to work at building up your child’s self esteem, not breaking it down. I have learned that even the slightest criticism can cause a child to stop trying. If a child is constantly criticized, stops trying, they can end up following the crowd. Instead if they make a mistake, and they were genuinely making a good effort, commend them for the effort. Then take the time to show them the right way.
3. Ask questions
I have seen that asking a lot of questions, has helped my kids to figure things out for themselves. So instead of just giving your kids the answer, help them see how to find the answer using questions.
4. Find their own motivation
Each individual is motivated by something different. For children it can be a challenge to figure out what their motivation is. Your goal should be to help your child find out what motivates them. A part of doing this is to find out what they like, what they enjoy, and what will help them to achieve their goals.
5. Learn the definition of responsibility
Last but certainly not least is to teach your children how to be responsible. This is not something that is learned over the course of a day, or even two days. Instead this is going to take a lot of discipline on the part of the parents, and constant work. It all really starts with being a responsible parent yourself. Remember that your children will learn by your example, so set a good example for them.