From assigning chores, to encourage your kiddo to be creative, there are numerous ways you can teach your children to be independent and expressive. Here are 5 tips to add to your repertoire of parenting advice.
Encourage Their Hobbies and Interests
Whatever their hobbies or interests might be, you should encourage them to pursue something they love. Encourage them to be passionate about something they can do, such as going on nature hikes, painting with acrylics, and learning a different language. If they love music, but you don’t have room for huge instruments, sign them up for piano lessons elsewhere. Or, find some free street pianos in New York, courtesy of Sing for Hope, and allow your kiddos to tickle the ivories for a while.
Be Attentive, Interactive, and Engaging
Being independent is all about having the confidence to do things for yourself. So, be attentive, interactive, and engaging with your children. Have meaningful conversations, really listen to what they have to say, and ask them questions to learn more about who they are and what they love.
Promote Emotive Expression
Some parents are against allowing their children to show their emotions, but it can be therapeutic for kids to learn how to express and cope with their feelings. Encourage them to take up a hobby that makes them feel good about themselves. And ask them about their feelings often to establish a safe space and bond within your family.
Assign Age-Appropriate Chores, Specifications, and Expectations
Chores are a huge part of helping a child gain independence and confidence, but being age-appropriate is key. You can’t expect a 3-year-old to vacuum the whole house, but you can expect a toddler to tidy up after themselves in their toy room. Assign chores, set expectations and specifications, and reward them at the end of the week with an allowance or family-friendly activity.
Enroll Them in Life Skills Classes as Preteens
Life skills used to be taught in public schools, but those budgets have steadily become obsolete. However, there are still individual classes that teach life skills to preteens and teenagers. Life skills include how to cook, how to balance finances, and how to budget money for weekly essentials. Kids can benefit a lot from being taught how to function as independent, reliable adults. Don’t be afraid to teach them life skills at home.
Never, ever strive for perfection because perfection doesn’t exist. Let your child know that independence and expression are great things that allow them to be more of who they are. Your role as a parent is all about teaching and preparing them for adulthood and life, as well as encouraging them to be whoever they want to be.