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What an Independent Child Must Know

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When Parents care about their little ones, they try to do everything to protect them and take care of them. However, there is a thin line of difference between the right kind of parenting, and the parenting we’ve come to know as ‘helicopter parenting”. A helicopter parent is one who is overprotective, or is constantly trying to monitor the lives of their kids. While the parents may have good intentions, this might either annoy your children, or make them into lazy spoilt brats. The outside world is a dark and scary place; and one day our kids will have to face it alone. Training them to be independent from a young age will provide them with all the tools necessary to take care of themselves. It might hurt to let go, and make your kids take charge of their own lives, but it is extremely necessary for them to become independent so that they are ready to face the world on their own tomorrow. Here’s what your children must be able to do to be independent and responsible.

1. TO WAKE UP ON THEIR OWN-on time!

Rule number one: Make sure your kids sleep in their own room by the time they are four. When the kids know that their parents are there to make sure they wake up on time and go to school, they start to get lazy. They should be set an alarm and wake up, lay out their outfit for the day, brush and get ready – all on their own! By the time your child owns a smartphone, they should be smart enough to wake up on their own! Be firm when you tell them that you will not be waking them up anymore. They may be late a couple of times, and may even miss school, but they will get the hang of it soon!

2. DO THE LAUNDRY

We don’t want our children to grow up, and not know how to do the laundry! When the kids know that the parents will always do the laundry for them, they become too dependent on the parents. Doing the laundry is one of the basic domestic skills that every child must know before they grow up. The invention of the washing machine and the dryer is such a blessing- just popping your clothes into the machine and pressing a few buttons are all it takes to clean your clothes. Any kid can do it (with adult supervision)! Get your kids into a routine, and make them do their laundry every Sunday!

3. Make a meal

All children, both girls and boys, must know how to cook. Otherwise, 30 years later, they will either still be living with their parents, or ordering take out every single day. It is not like we expect our kids to cook three times a day for the whole week, but they must know how to cook. Maybe they can help you chop the vegetables, or cook dinner every Sunday. This is also a great way to bond with your kids. Teach them the basics so that they can always be independent, and be responsible as they grow older.

4. Study and do homework on their own

I remember this one lady who revealed that the only reason her son performed well in school is because she used to make notes for him and teach him regularly. The son got so used to his mother teaching him, that he could not study on his own, even after going to college! It is important to slowly stop teaching your kids, and helping with homework and allow them to manage it on their own. Give them some tips, and help them get into a routine. If they come to you with doubts, help them solve it on their own by asking them supportive questions. Teach them how to plan their study schedule, stay organized and revise for the exams. Your kids will be able to develop their study habits from a young age itself, and be independent and self-motivated.

5. Be able to handle money

This is an important skill any independent kid must know. By the time your kids have learnt how to count and add, they must learn about money. Teach them how to spend carefully, and save money wisely. Give them an allowance every month, and monitor their spending and saving habits.

6. Do the chores

It is extremely important for children to contribute positively to the family. Making our kids do the chores will make them independent and teach them how to take care of themselves. They may complain at first, but will soon start enjoying the responsibility given to them! When children pitch in to do chores, it teaches them to become better team players, and will mould them into responsible adults. Help them create a schedule for their chores, and make sure they do it. A note to parents: Do not order your kids to do the chores; it will make them feel controlled, and they won’t feel like doing it. Instead, make an effort to let them know that the house cannot function without them, and that their contribution is necessary. It will make them feel like they are needed, and will agree to do it! You can motivate them by offering incentives for the chores that they do.

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