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Helping your kids to learn to be more independent doesn’t just have benefits for us exhausted Mummas. Teaching independence will build your kiddo’s confidence and life skills by encouraging them to take charge and make their own decisions.
Of course this works out for parents too. We’re distracted from our responsibilities less and might stand a chance to get some work done, like the washing, ironing, building a damn empire… It might even lead to slightly higher energy levels and a happier Mum! Sounds like a dream, I’m sure my kids would agree.
So how do we achieve this? Here are 5 ways to help your children be more independent around the house.
1. Give them age appropriate responsibilities
Involve your child in this process to help them feel like they are responsible and increase accountability. Sit down together and brainstorm a few ways that they would like to help around the house and write them down, stick them on the fridge, create a fun chore chart in Canva or grab a cheap white board chore chart from Kmart.
2. Make things accessible
Placing your child’s cutlery, utensils, snacks and clothing in easy to reach, appropriate heights will help your child to prepare their own meals and pick out their outfits for the week or put their clothes away without extra assistance. If your child is in charge of feeding the pets, pop the pet supplies in labeled bins or containers and keep all the supplies close by.
3. Offer choices with limited options
Sometimes kids can feel overwhelmed by too many choices or make a decision that isn’t achievable or desired, in some cases you can aid this by offering them a limited number of choices. For example, would you like an apple or an orange packed for lunch? Would you like to wear the red shirt or the yellow shirt today? This way they are still making their own decisions but have more guidance as they learn to become more independent.
4. Establish a routine
Keep everyone in the family on the same page and help to guide your children by placing a clear routine out for all to see. You’ll have a higher chance of children brushing their teeth, getting dressed and taking charge of their meal times without the incessant nagging, think of how much energy you’ll save NOT having to repeat yourself day-in day-out.
5. Encourage a positive attitude around ‘failure’
Mistakes happen and that’s a part of life, help your child to reframe their ideas around ‘failure’ by talking openly about what went wrong, what went right and what they could do differently to get a better result next time. When things don’t go to plan, it’s just another opportunity to learn something new.
Do you have a chore or reward system at home? What methods do you use?
Lea Sharp is a content creator and hot mess Mum in Brisbane, QLD. As a tired Mum of 3, Lea is a passionate advocate for maternal mental health and helps like-minded Mums make life that little bit easier through The Cold Coffee Tribe, a lifestyle website for everyday Mums.