How Do I Encourage My Child To Be Independent – Tips For Parents & Caregivers

How Do I Encourage My Child To Be Independent

It’s never too early to instill children with a sense of independence! Helping their confidence grow while also allowing them to think for themselves enables children to build better organizational and problem-solving skills, making them resourceful little monkeys! Encouragement, love, and patience are surely the most important tools for an adult raising a child, but it always helps to know a few tips and tricks!



Children learn how to make choices while they are still toddlers. It is an essential skill and is one that lasts a lifetime. There are plenty of daily activities that can be used as a learning experience in helping your child make decisions for themselves. Encourage them to make simple choices by asking questions like “Would you like to wear your red t-shirt or blue t-shirt?”. By posing choice based questions you can also allow them to make decisions about what toys they play with, what they would like to eat and even the silly faces you make. The key thing to remember here is to offer a variety of safe, interesting choices and nudge them to start thinking for themselves.



Adults tend to do more of the things we love and enjoy, so it definitely stands to reason that a young child’s lessons should be imparted in a fun and interactive way. Children learn faster and stay more focused if they’re having fun, and there are lots of easy ways to make a lesson more engaging. Puppets, flashcards, and objects children can manipulate are ideal learning tools to engage young minds. Pose “this or that” questions, create roleplaying scenarios, or even construct an open-ended problem that children can solve by using their creativity and freedom of choice.



Children learn at their own pace, and there is very little we as adults can do aside from being there for them with encouragement. We forget sometimes to let them learn at their own pace because we have our own ideas on what skills they should be developing and when. One of the most important things a parent can do is to observe and assess how your child learns, what they respond to and how long it takes them to absorb new skills – this will be valuable information for you and educators when your child starts schooling. By being patient and non-intrusive, you are allowing your child to build their confidence as well as teaching them to be patient and empathetic towards others.


As a parent, it’s tempting to do everything for our children. Often though, they learn more from a situation if we take a few steps back and let them solve the problem. As always, you have to be ready to step in if they need your help, but letting them have the opportunity to work out minor issues is very rewarding. Anything from a slip and fall to a conflict can be solved with just a little guidance and encouragement from you. Asking for solutions and ideas to a problem is also very beneficial and helps children learn how to navigate them creatively.


Teaching a child how to do things on their own is a rewarding experience both for you and for your little one. By introducing age-appropriate tasks and chores, a child can feel confident that they are able to help themselves and also help you. Make sure that you know what to expect from your child at different ages so that they don’t get frustrated, and always be around to offer a helping hand if they are struggling or unsure.

Here are a few age-appropriate goals to get you started:
18 – 36 months: Wash hands (with help), Put dirty clothes in the hamper, Learn to use the toilet (with help).
3 years: Brush teeth (with help), Carry dishes from the table (non-breakable), Wipe up small messes.
4 – 5 years: Dress themselves, Eat independently and neatly, Put away groceries.


One of the easiest and most effective ways to teach your kids is by demonstration – and this applies to everything. Especially at a young age, your child is much more capable of repeating the things they see done than only being told to do something. If you want your child to learn how to wash their hands by themselves, demonstrate the correct way of doing it as you explain each step to them. You can ask them to observe you first and then repeat, or they can follow along with you so that you are both doing it together. There are many other ways to help your child grow into a confident and independent little human and we should try to encourage them in whatever way we can. Always remember though that children are like sponges and they soak up everything they see, hear, and experience – so be mindful of your own actions and behaviors! If we are independent, confident adults in our daily lives & routines, our kids will learn to be one too.

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