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How Parents Can Use COVID-19 to Develop Independence in Their Children


blog post

Because of the lockdown, children are spending much of their time at home. Parents might find their children at a loss on how they can productively spend their time. This is a good opportunity to teach them to become more independent. Sometimes, the best way for you to develop independence in your children during COVID-19 is by letting go of some habits that both you and your child have been accustomed to. Continue reading to learn more.

 

Give them manageable responsibilities

As mentioned previously, this pandemic has left children with no choice but to stay at home and avoid close contact with their peers. The absence of face-to-face classes and the move towards distance learning is just but one way that traditional educational practices are changing. Knowing this, there’s no better way to start your child’s path to independence, than by giving them manageable responsibilities.

There are many house chores that you can delegate to your children. You may want to make sure that these activities are within their skills and capabilities. For example, even a simple activity like letting them wash their own dishes after use, or throwing out the trash can become a habit for them over time. Make sure to do it consistently over a period of time to make sure that this habit becomes ingrained.

 

Allow them to make their own decisions

Another effective method of helping your child become more independent during COVID-19 is by allowing them to make their own decisions. This can be done in many different ways ranging from simple, to more complex situations. But the main idea remains the same —  your children should be agents of their own choices.

For example, you should give your child room to make simple choices, such as what food they’ll have for breakfast or what clothes they may want to wear for the day. Starting from these basic situations, you can eventually allow your child to work their way towards more complicated scenarios. These may be in the form of letting them exhaust all means in trying to solve a problem before they eventually turn to you for help.

 

Teach them to solve problems on their own

In line with allowing them to make their own decisions, you may also want to teach your children to solve their own problems. This can go beyond problems they need to solve when it comes to schoolwork.

You may have experienced many instances where your child has spilled some water on the floor, or they accidentally forgot to throw their trash in the garbage bin. In the first situation, instead of chiding your kid, show them how to use a mop so they can clean the spill. As for the latter, show them why it’s important that no trash should be left lying around (i.e: because this may attract pests such as cockroaches or ants). In this way, they won’t have to ask for your assistance whenever they have to rectify simple problems.

 

Praise their accomplishments

Praising your child’s accomplishments can go a long way in helping build your children’s confidence to do things by themselves. It may often be the case that children find it hard to show their achievements to their parents because of some fear that they may be judged for it. You have to ensure that you’re letting your child know how much value you put in whatever they do.

You should know, however, that there is a fine line between coddling your child and valuing their efforts. Make sure that you show only the proper amount of praise. If they’ve cooked a meal for you, give them credit where it is due. This builds self-belief within them to do more complex activities on their own.

 

Key Takeaway

If you want to develop independence in your children during COVID-19, you have to be willing to stop yourself from micromanaging. It doesn’t matter if they’re doing things the right way or not – what’s most important is that your children learn from their mistakes, allowing them to do things in the correct way, the next time around.

Take this opportunity not only to maintain the safety of your child but also to help them achieve many accomplishments by virtue of only their actions.