Home > NewsRelease > 5 Ways to Help Your Child Become More Independent
5 Ways to Help Your Child Become More Independent
Child Development Institute - Parenting Today Child Development Institute - Parenting Today
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Orange County , CA
Tuesday, July 23, 2019


As children grow older, they should be given more responsibility.

You’re not doing your children any favors when you perform basic tasks for them.

In fact, children can develop learned helplessness.

Learned helplessness is when a child lacks independence and cannot or will not do age-

appropriate tasks. In order for your child to gain confidence and become more responsible,

follow these five tips.

  1. Make a List

Create a list of tasks that your child should be able to do on their own, such as getting dressed

or putting their toys away. Talk to them about which tasks they think they can do. If they’re unsure, have thempra ctice in front of you. Eliminate any tasks that they don’t

seem to be ready for. Keep in mind, children perform

better when they know what’s expected of them.

  1. Don’t Expect Perfection

Children are still figuring out their motor skills, so some mishaps may happen, such as spilling

juice when they want to pour themselves a drink. If they mess up, try not to criticize them. Instead, gently show them the

correct way to do things. Explain that everyone makes mistakes, and no one is perfect.

  1. Allow Enough Time

Children tend to need more time to finish tasks compared to adults. Give them the time they need

to prevent them from becoming stressed. For example, if it takes your child ten minutes to put on

their clothes in the morning, start your daily routine earlier. As they practice, they will get faster

at their tasks.

  1. Develop a Routine

Children need routine to manage their responsibilities. If their daily schedule is

constantly changing, they’ll become confused. Explain to them when they have to complete

specific tasks. For example, you can tell your child that they need to pick up their toys before

getting ready for bed. When it gets close to their bedtime, remind your child that they need to

clean up before they put on their pajamas.

     5. Offer Praise

Children love to be recognized for the things that they do. Give your child praise when they do

something on their own, especially if it’s something they needed help with before. You can

even turn mistakes into praise. For example, if your child puts their shirt on backward, you can

acknowledge that they were able to pick out clothing and dress themselves. Give your child encouragement when they’re feeling frustrated.

In short…

It might seem easier and quicker to do things for your children instead of

allowing them to do it themselves. However, when you give children the opportunity to

perform tasks on their own, they begin to develop a sense of responsibility and accomplishment.

As they grow older, they will be able to use their problem-solving skills to tackle new situations

with ease.

In the larger scheme of development, fostering independence and responsibility results in a

person who is self-confident, resourceful, respectful, and able to recognize needs and meet them.

In my new book, The Well-Balanced Family, I provide tips, guides, and tools to help children

become more autonomous while at the same time being a contributor to the functioning and

well-being of family as a whole.

Robert Myers, PhD

About Robert Myers, PhD

Dr. Myers is a Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist. He has been licensed in California since 1980. Dr. Myers earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. His career activities include 20 years in private practice, staff psychologist at children's hospital, and clinical director of inpatient and outpatient services at several psychiatric facilities. He currently is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UC Irvine School of Medicine.During his career as a child psychologist, Dr. Myers has devoted much of his time to providing Parent Education as a public speaker, radio talk show host, and guest expert on local and national radio and television shows. He is the author of Total Focus and The Well-Balanced Family. [Media Contact: https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/about/media-contact/]

Robert Myers, Ph.D. is a clinical child and adolescent psychologist and is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UC Irvine School of Medicine.  He is a regular contributor to Parenting TodayClick Here to contact Dr Myers.

Child Psychologist - Parent Educator - Author
Child Development Institute
Orange, CA
Other experts on these topics