Critical independent thinking skills are very important for your children. These important skills can enhance self-esteem and promote an ability to meet any challenging situation with ease and optimism. However, as parents we can hinder our children’s ability to develop independence thinking skills by helping or doing more than they actually need. Sometimes, we may even never realize that we are actually doing all the work for them. In life, parents just love their children and they want to take care of their children in every possible way. However, parents may also forget that going all the way to help their children may actually hinder their children’s ability to develop independence thinking skills.
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One of the primary goals of parents is to help children develop the intense desire and ability to think on their own without other’s help. Independent thinking is the desire or wish of a person to convince him or her that the information and detail being presented is true, worthy or reasonable.
Why attitude of independence is important for your children? A child who develops independence skills will always feel more confident about themselves and their ability to solve intricate life problems especially when you are not there. You children will feel on top of the world when they work on their own and without your help. They will also show a heightened enthusiasm to work more to achieve minor goals and objectives. Just think how your children will be excited when they learn to wear their socks or zip up the jacket for the first time without any help from you! Just by doing these simple things, they feel so proud of their ability to do things on their own.
Developing independence skills will provide a number of benefits to your children such as:
A steep rise in confidence level and self-esteem
An ability to solve problems those occur in daily life
Developing compassion and love for others
An ability to help others when they are in problems
Better self-image and enthusiasm
When children feel that they can do things on their own, they will also naturally want to learn and master new skills or solve intricate problems. For example, a child who has repeatedly worked on buttoning her blouse and who finally does it without her parent’s help will naturally demand to try wear that blouse all by herself without help from anyone. Alternatively, a boy who has repeatedly tried to tie his shoelace and who finally does it without his parents’ help will start trying to slip the shoes himself.
You feel normally excited and thrilled, if your children are learning all things with their own initiative. This is what most parents expect from their children too. Obviously, parents also want their children learn new things, skills and abilities on their way to adulthood. However, these events may happen only when parents provide their children an opportunity to try to do things on their own. In nutshell, you may need to encourage independence in your children by watching patiently when your small children try to button their shirts on their own even if they take many minutes. If you lose your patience at this critical juncture, you will probably hindering or preventing your children from learning important independence skills. If you observe that your children are failing in their act of learning new skills, you may need to encourage them to try again instead of helping your children with your own efforts.
Independence skills are practical life skills. These skills can easily assist your children develop confidence, feel less scared or nervous and eventually face any situations that are likely to be encountered at school and public places. Regardless of what children, may demand or they feel need, parents may need to try to train them in acquiring critical independence skills and responsibilities. Mind you, it is a lifelong commitment that might be difficult to achieve and satisfy.
Not all children may succeed in learning these skills. There could be many reasons for this perceived failure. Development milestones are not the same among all children. Some of them may show keenness to learn independence thinking skills while others may take some more time to learn them. Whatever the case, parents will need to give enough opportunities for their children to learn these skills at an early age. Cleaning up rooms, tables, helping parents’ finish house chore and getting ready for the school are some of the most important skills that your children can learn. Today, families around the world are busier than ever. Parents also feel bad about not giving enough time for their children. When parents use the available time by working with their children, they can easily teach very important lessons about independence and responsibility.
Teaching Your Children Independence Skills – How Parents can be Proactive in Training their children
Tying shoelaces, buttoning the shirt, cleaning the study table, doing laundry and doing homework on own without parents’ help – these are some of the most common yet important responsibilities for a child. These simple activities may look and feel very simple to many of us. However, they can pose a big challenge for most of the children who are under the age of 10 years. To an adult, these simple jobs may look monotonous and regular. However, these perceived simple tasks may look humungous to most children. There are many skills and techniques that your children mist learn and master before they leave home for their higher studies. Acquiring independence thinking skills at an early age will help your children build confidence and self-esteem.
Young children and toddlers often like to do very meaningful and understandable “adult-type” tasks. Many times, they are too enthusiastic about doing things on their own. What they lack are the techniques or methods to perform these tasks. To help your children succeed in learning independence skills, you may need to set up a congenial physical environment to assist them become more independent. To set up an atmosphere for doing work on own, you may wish to provide:
Easy climb and sit chairs; your children should be able to get in and out of the chair independently,
Easily climbable stools near sinks and wash places so that children can easily wash their hands before and after eating,
An easily reachable waste tub where children can deposit refuse and wastage after snack and dinner time,
Cleaning towels and sponges that can help children clean up
What you can do to help your children become independent:
Providing ample opportunities: Provide plenty of opportunities for your children to learn independent thinking skills. Your children should understand that learning independence skills will help them become efficient and enabled in their classroom and out of it. As a parent, you may wish to cajole your children to do work on their own and without your help. When your children understand that doing small tasks with their own initiatives is good for them, they will try to work on small tasks that are simple and straightforward.
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Encourage independence: As far as possible, give limited choices for your children. When your children have limited choices in front of them, they will try to achieve excellence in the tasks they want to perform. Ensure that you respect your children’s preferences.
Example: Let us say that you are giving drinking chocolate to your children. You may now give just two options for them. Ask this simple question – “Do you need that orange cup or the blue cup?” Alternatively, your children want to dress up for their piano class. You may ask your children this simple question – “The red dress is that side drawer and the grey one is in the cupboard. Pick the one that you like”. Here, your children will try to assess the merit of your question and decide on their answers after thinking over it for some time.
Show flexibility towards your children: Becoming independent takes lot of time. Respect your child’s natural limitations. Never ever, pressurize your children beyond certain limits. Make sure that you integrate the training within the ambit of your work. Use the available opportunities to teach your children independence thinking skills.
Involve your children in making plans: You can ask your children to suggest you ideas to help make the learning program a success. Children can give wonderful ideas. Use their abilities to help them succeed in learning independence thinking skills.
Explain what independence is: You may wish to explain the benefits and advantages of mastering independence thinking skills. Tell them how learning such skills will help in classroom and in other places.
Let children try to do work on own: Some children will try to do small tasks on own. For example, children love to button their shirts or tie shoelaces. Most children fail in their first few attempts because it is natural; children may not develop the necessary muscle-eye-bone coordination when they are young. Let them try to do their tasks. If they fail, you can help them but with solutions to the problems. Tell them how they can button up their shirts and demonstrate the act by standing in front of them.
Be affirmative and reinforce positive assertions: Always, reinforce positive reinforcement and avoid negative ones. Be positive with your children and help your children become positive as well. If they do any task with success, compliment them with your heart.
There are a number of independent thinking skills that your children must learn and master to become successful in life. Here are some of them:
Note: The most important skill that your children must learn is to realize that mastering independent thinking skills will help them achieve critical goals.
1. Encourage your children to ask questions and find answers with their own efforts
2. Make sure that the questions should always have a “why” and “what happens if” component attached to them.
3. Your children should find their own solutions or answers to their problems. Buttoning a shirt is one classic example. Most children often fail in their first attempt. However, they will master the task with continuous repetitions.
2. Teach your children experimentation. Your children should be able to experiment on simple challenges and tasks till they find a valid solution.
Please remember that learning independent thinking skills relates very closely with performing most common daily tasks. Children who develop critical independent thinking skills can be very successful in their life.
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