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How to help your child build independence

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How to help your child build independence:

Building independence is really, really important for kids and it can sometimes be met with trepidation for parents. Sometimes it is difficult for us to let go and allow our kids to explore the world and resolve or solve problems on their own but it's a really important process for kids. As they develop independence over time, they also develop a sense of self and self-confidence and that's really important for our kids. There are all kind of places you can look in a kid's world to develop independence from very small to young adult and what that looks like obviously shifts from age to age.

For younger children you can look for opportunities for them to be more independent. They can dress themselves. They can pick out their own clothes. They can help with meals by setting the table. They can help with the family pets. I would look for small things, tasks that they can complete to help them develop some independence. It feels good for kids to contribute to something bigger than themselves.

As kids get older they can develop some independence with completing school work, volunteering some place and helping out. It is really important that kids have chores at home. They are not ever going to come to you and say, "Mom, give me some chores. I love doing chores." But what we do know is chores that make kids feel good. It feels good for them to complete something. It feels good for them to do a job well-done and it also makes them feel good to see their parents pleased with their efforts.