The Importance of Teaching Kids to Be Independent

The Importance of Teaching Kids to Be Independent

Would you agree that kids tend to give up too easily?

 

My kids sure do.

Take my daughter and her homework for example. When she gets stuck on a problem, she gets really frustrated and whines about how she cannot figure it out.

She ends up sitting there, pouting…which leads to no homework being done.

So, what does mommy or daddy do? We come over and tell her how to do it. Which is all fine
and dandy because we do want her to know that we’re there for her when she needs help.

The problem was in how we, as her parents, were helping her.

Instead of guiding her into figuring out the solution to the problem herself, we were essentially giving her the answers.

Instead of having her attempt to talk out loud her thought process to figure out where she is
actually getting stuck and what exactly she doesn’t understand, we tend to jump in a little too early.

Anyone else guilty of jumping in too soon to help their kids?

She was not thinking for herself.  What kids these days are missing is that critical thinking component.  

Here are a few ways we take away from our kids’ independence:

  • Tell them the answer right away
  • Do it for them
  • Tell them how we think the task should be done

 

Ways we let kids think for themselevs and become more independent:

  • Ask your kids to explain what they’re stuck on
  • Give kids questions to think about as a way to guide them on what they need to ask themselves next to figure the problem out

 

One thing I’m working on with my kids is how to manage their time, especially in the morning.

Now this didn’t happen overnight, but we’ve gotten them on a morning routine that they are now used to.

They wake up, brush their teeth, get dressed, make their beds, come downstairs, get their backpacks ready to go, unload the dishwasher and eat breakfast.

My daughter does not like being tardy but she’s probably the one that drags her feet the most.

Most days she is good about getting her list done.  Some days, like today, we’re twenty minutes from needing to leave the house and she has barely walked down the stairs.  

Normally, I would jump in and remind them of the time and how they’ll be late if they don’t hurry up.

Nope!

This time, I just let them be.  

Eventually one of them noticed what time it was, and they got their act together.

We made it to school with 1 minute to spare but the entire time during the car ride there, they were quite nervous.  Especially when we had to stop at each red light.

But the lesson here is that if I don’t let them figure things out for themselves and learn things the hard way, then I am not doing them any favors.

The quicker I let them fail and learn from their mistakes, the better it is for them in the long run.

An excellent example I got from another mom that I’m starting to implement with my own kids now is what I call, the Power of 3.

If they have a problem, they need to figure out for themselves three different ways they can solve that problem before coming to an adult to get help.  

This could be anything.  The key is that when they come asking for help, they need to list out the three things they did to figure it out for themselves.

This promotes independence, self-reliance, critical thinking, problem solving skills, and confidence while preventing co-dependency, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. And who doesn’t want that for our kids?

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Insights On the Helicopter Parent Movement

Insights On the Helicopter Parent Movement

Are you a helicopter parent to your kids?

A lot of moms nowadays identify as a helicopter parent because they want to keep their kids safe. You may sometimes restrict your kids’ movement to ensure their safety, but this doesn’t always equate to helicopter parenting. In my opinion, there’s a big difference between being a helicopter parent and making sure that your kids are safe.

Worrying for your child’s safety is what any responsible parent would do, but going to extreme measures is another story.

Being overprotective and overbearing like any other helicopter parent may be detrimental in the long run. You need to identify the difference between what is a helicopter parent from that of a responsible one.

By doing so, you are letting your child grow, but what is a helicopter parent, exactly?

 

What is a Helicopter Parent?

 

Learning the traits of what a helicopter parent is can be helpful in avoiding becoming/being one. Here is a list of what I think a helicopter parent does:

  1. Doing things for your kids even if they are capable of doing it on their own.
  2. Setting impossibly high standards on your kids.
  3. Not allowing your kids to do what they want even if they are in a perfectly safe environment.
  4. Stopping your kids from experiencing new things because of your irrational fear of the outcomes.
  5. Making decisions for your kids as much as you can.

Do any of the items in the list resonate to you?

I get it, a lot of us can relate to some items on the list, and it’s perfectly normal. We want to make sure our kids have everything they need since It’s our motherly instinct kicking in!

While these feelings are normal, acting on them by being overbearing and overprotective to your kids isn’t gonna help.

 

Effects of Helicopter Parents to their Kids

 

We have the tendency to overlook what the effects of helicopter parents to their kids are and become one, ourselves.

Now that we’ve clarified what is a helicopter parent, learning on the effects of helicopter parents to kids comes next.  

Commonly, the effects of helicopter parents to their kids include:

  1. Their kids become indecisive and helpless.
  2. Their kids have low self-esteem
  3. Their kids finding it difficult to cope
  4. Their kids become too dependent on others and,
  5. Their kids become entitled

These traits may be common in younger children, but these shouldn’t persist as they grow into their adult lives. Hence, it is important to identify early on if you are a helicopter parent or not to prevent these effects.

Are you a Helicopter Parent, or not?

 

There is no perfect parenting style in the world, so we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. More so, we shouldn’t be too hard on our kids as well.

I believe we should assess our parenting styles frequently to come up with an effective style that best fits our kids. By learning what a helicopter parent is and the effects of helicopter parents to their kids, you can adjust accordingly.

We want our kids to grow holistically and become successful, and these things can only be achieved through experience. As Julius Cesar once said, “experience is a great teacher..”  and we shouldn’t be afraid to let our kids learn.

If we let them learn, we are giving them the opportunity to grow into the best citizens that they can be.

Are you a helicopter parent, or not? What are your thoughts on it?

I’d love to hear them; just leave me a message or make a comment below.