Tips & benefits of raising independent children

Younger children always seem to want to do things on their own. This tendency is the starting point of independence and it is really important for us to encourage this.

In order to help children grow into self-sufficient and successful global citizens, let us try to encourage independence while they are young. Why is it so important?

3 key benefits of raising independent kids:

Confidence + sense of achievement

It provides them with the belief that they are competent and capable of taking care of themselves which makes them resilient to external challenges. It makes them happy and healthy as they feel a great sense of achievement and success as a direct result of their own actions

Equips them to be decisions-makers

It allows them to become good decision-makers as they have the freedom to consider various options before choosing the one they feel is best.

Develops key Life skills

It gives your child a sense of importance and belonging which is essential for building social relationships and for contributing to the world. Life skills like patience, concentration, self-help, cooperation, self-discipline and self-trust are also developed

4 helpful tips to raise self-sufficient, independent children

Encourage Exploration

Once your children have established their sense of security, it’s down to you to encourage them to explore the world beyond your safety net. Let your kids be the eager explorers. Let them imagine freely and go on many adventures. Zooboo’s book ‘What shape would you be?’ allows kids to imagine themselves as different shapes!

Allow them to make their own decisions

As they grow older, let them make their own decisions – however simple they may be. For example, in Zooboo’s personalized ‘Birthday’ book, the child decides the menu, balloon colour for his/her birthday party. They also create their own birthday banner.

You can also give them the opportunity to come up with solutions to problems. Try asking them “how?” questions such as “how can we clean up this mess we’ve made?”

Provide choices

When thinking about how to encourage independence in your children, one of the easiest ways is to give them the choice. There are so many decisions that are made every day, so pose the question to them. Do you want an apple or banana today? Do you want to wear your red shoes or blue shoes?

Remember to always give them options that are both perfectly acceptable.

For example in the Zooboo book Noisy Holiday, the child finds the city to be too noisy. His/her grandparents then give them to option to spend the weekend in a farm. They don’t enforce a decision of staying in the city on their grandchild.

And then honour that choice

After you offered the options and your child picked the one they want – go through with the decision. Honour their choice. If you don’t then you will land up lower their self esteem and confidence. Enlist their trust that you will respect their choice especially one that was offered by you in the first place!

For example in the Zooboo book ‘Slays the fear monster’, the child’s mom suggests different options that can make him/her feel calmer. When the child decides to try it out, their mother trusts his/her decision and helps them through it.

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