Being self-reliant and self-sufficient is one of the most important characteristics any person should develop. And the best time to nurture this ability is right from childhood. Raising a self-sufficient kid is no easy task. But with a few simple steps, you can make sure you set your child on the right path. In this article, we aim to delve into 10 simple tips that can help you raise your kid to be self-sufficient and self-reliant.
#1.Give them responsibilities
The first and foremost step in equipping your child with self-sufficiency would be to give them chores and responsibilities around the house. It can range from – keeping their toys back in the right place after playing everyday to even light house chores like helping you water the plants or put the clean dishes away.
Ensure you assign age appropriate chores to your child so as not to overwhelm them. By giving them a chore they can easily complete, your child would feel more confident in their abilities and at the same time will gain a sense of self reliance as well.
#2.Give them decision making power
Parents tend to take all the decisions when it comes to their children without giving them any real agency over their affairs. It is understandable that kids being young, they may not be equipped to make decisions on their own. But to raise a self-sufficient child, parents can take the minor aspects of their child’s day to day life, provide options to them to make a choice and encourage them to take a call on it.
For example, while picking out an outfit to wear, parents can provide options between two choices or two colours. A seemingly simple decision like that can boost the child’s self esteem to a large extent.
#3.Let them make mistakes
It is only through mistakes that we learn. And we should not be afraid of letting our kids make mistakes of their own either. Mistakes can help kids learn the value of rewards and consequences. They can also help them understand the difference between right and wrong, how to behave in a situation if it does not go their way, how to let go of stuff beyond their control, and so much more. As parents, you should be careful not to punish them or make them feel bad for making a mistake, rather you should be there for them and let them know the appropriate action to be taken.
#4.Take a step back
In the process of equipping your kid with self-sufficiency, it is important that you as a parent do not overdo your control streak. It is best to take a step back at times and let your kid deal with their stuff on their own. Make sure you realise and see your child not as an extension of yourself, but as an individual with their own wants, needs and preferences.
Do not spoon-feed them or jump in to solve all their problems; instead take a moment to step back and let them figure it out themselves. This would help them develop self-sufficiency and independence from a young age itself.
#5.Inculcate the habit of reading
Lastly, introduce the habit of reading to your kid. You can start off with reading picture books along with them and slowly wean yourself off to the point of encouraging them to pick up a book and read it by themselves. Reading helps them expand their imagination and thinking and turn them into broad minded and knowledgeable adults as they grow up.
#6.Equip them with skills
Equip your kid with much needed practical skills that can help them advance further in life. Simple tasks like cooking a meal, changing a lightbulb, fixing odd things around the house, changing a tire – all these are lessons that any child would benefit from for a lifetime.
#7.Teach them about money
In addition to equipping your kid with practical life skills, it is equally important to teach them about finance as well. You can start simple, by teaching them what money is, how much a rupee costs, what it can be used for, etc. This will help them understand that there is value for every item and that would enable them to understand why taking care of their stuff is important. You can also inculcate the habit of savings in your kid with a piggy bank.
Do watch this session conducted by TIST about financial literacy for students
#8.Appreciate their efforts
Never forget to appreciate their efforts, however small. Showing them your love and that you care can go a long way in boosting their self confidence and self esteem. It can also be rewarding for them to realise their efforts are appreciated, which would push them to work harder and be more self reliant than ever.
#9.Have realistic expectations
In the middle of all this, it is vital that parents have clear and realistic expectations from their children. You should not put too much pressure on them to do well at home or in school. Understand your child’s aptitude and set expectations meeting that.
#10.Encourage them to open up to you without fear
Be an open minded and non-judgemental parent who your child can approach without fear. Ensure that they feel comfortable talking to you about everything that happens in their lives and come to you without qualms if they ever find themselves in a tough situation.
Starting something at an early age will stick with them till the rest of their life. So developing any skill at a young age is always beneficial. Help them to attain self sufficiency , it would definitely be hard at the beginning but they will be thankful for you helping them reach that point of independence.