“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”
For parents, their children are their most precious treasure. While there is no harm in cherishing them, excessive pampering can make them over-dependent. This in turn has a negative impairment in their overall personality.
There are greater chances that your kid shall become a successful person in the future if you groom him to be an independent and self-reliant individual. Many psychological studies including the Harvard Grant Study testifies it.
In the earliest phases of growth as babies, the children are completely helpless and require assistance for mobility as well as nourishment. As they grow, they develop skills to do things on their own. They become less dependent and tend to seek more autonomy to act according to their own disposition as they transcend through various phases. However, this transmission is often stymied by ill-informed guardians.
An independent child is bound to grow into a diligent and conscientious adult. If a kid is preened from the beginning to do certain work on own according to their capacity, they become more articulate and capable. In comparison to contingent kids, they fare better in their personal as well as professional lives. Not only that, but independent kids also showcases better rapport as have been pointed out in the following points.
• They are good decision-makers and make good leaders.
• They are tacit in nature and demonstrate sound reasoning ability.
• They ooze confidence and display self-esteem.
• They do not need to be lulled to achieve something, because if they are intrinsically motivated.
• They also showcase a stronger will and greater zeal to succeed than the rest.
Raising independent children actually eases your burden than adding to it. It is mutually beneficial for both the parents and the children.
Through trial and error, a child learns many new things. As a parent, it is your duty to provide your child opportunities and means to experiment and experience and guide them to become independent and reliable.
Rome was not built in a day and you cannot make your child self-sufficient overnight.
• Teach the children about responsibility by relaying to them what is expected from them. By assigning them certain duties according to their capacity as packing their school bags, keeping their study table clean, etc, you can inhibit this trait amongst them. This contributes to instilling not just a sense of responsibility but also teaches them the value of work.
• Imbibe in them trait of accountability by having them bear with the consequence of any action. You can use reward ( by treating them sweets or giving them stickers on fulfilling on being a filial child ) and punishment ( for example forbidding them to have their favorite snacks for non-compliance)incentive for this purpose.
• Refrain from doing everything from them howsoever convenient it may appear. When children accomplish something on their own, they are fuelled by the desire to learn and acquire new skills. Hence you should enable them as well as encourage them to do a certain task on their own (For example: eating their meal, wearing clothes). While there is no problem in giving them direction, you should however abstain from helping them directly.
• Never cave into their unnecessary demands. Even if they throw tantrums, do not yield to them easily. Try to reason with your child. In precise mannerisms convey to them, why their request is so unreasonable.
• Be patient and tender with your child. Express your love towards them and ensure them that you will be by their side no matter what, to confront any difficulty. This in turn shall assure the child, boost their morale, and encourage them to take initiative on their own.
• Delegate certain house chores to them on a routine basis. This may involve doing their own dishes, folding clothes, arranging their toys, cleaning their rooms, etc. Not only shall it help the child to become self-sufficient and reliant but also instill in them respect for work.
• Teach them the basic soft skills as cooking simple meals, managing money, doing their own laundry, sewing tears in the fabric, etc. This shall help them significantly when they move out to dorms for higher studies and jobs. Not only is it important for self-care but it also makes them value the importance of learning and doing odd jobs and seeking solace from them.
• Always acknowledge their achievement howsoever small it may be. Be it using the adult toilet successfully for the first time or learning a lesson by heart, let your children know that you are proud of them, appreciate their efforts, and celebrate their success. This motivates them to perform better.
• Provide children with an environment to exercise choice as well as autonomy to decide according to their caliber. Let them solve their problem on their own and encourage them to read. The latter serves as mental food and helps in cognitive development.
Rather than being helicopter parents, Feiler in his book “ The Secrets of Happy families “, insist on enlisting "the child in their own upbringing." These kids can savor independence only then when you shall enable them to win or lose on their own terms.
By being overprotective, you are harming your child and this is unacceptable. You can provide both security and liberty to your child at the same time. It is the rightful indulgence in the later, can a child truly grow into an independent, competent, and empowering adult in the future.