Developing Independent Children: 3 Quick Tips
Fostering your child’s independence is one of the most important steps you can take in supporting your child’s development and confidence. Our Brisbane Speech Pathologists and Occupational therapists work with families to help develop this area.
Building independence helps your child to learn to do things for themselves – this includes taking on board responsibility, making their own decisions and learning cause and effect.
Fostering independence earlier in childhood also supports physical development, including hand-eye coordination and motor skills. This creates a strong foundation for later-developing skills that are important for day to day tasks, such as writing, coping with adulthood and self-care.
The home environment is the most ideal place for your child to start practising becoming an independent individual.
You can start to build independence in your child with the following tips from our Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists:
Give children extra time
While it’s very difficult to ignore the temptation to help your child to speed up your day, it is important to be patient and allow children extra time to practise doing tasks such as dressing, closing lids, putting toys away. With time and practise, your child will speed up and be able to take on more tasks.
Offer realistic choices
It’s important to help your child how to make good decisions by allowing them choices and explaining why certain choices are helpful or otherwise. When offering them choices, such as which friend to have over, what to have for lunch or what clothes to wear to kindy, only provide choices that are a valid option. If a child is offered a choice that is disregarded, this can cause conflict and may undermine the child’s confidence.
Set a routine
Establishing consistent home routines in the home environment is a very helpful way to build your child’s independence and enhance comfort for everyone at home. Visual schedules can help with this. When a routine is set, your child can predict what is going to happen. This allows for you to give your child/children a role in helping the family to move through the routine by gradually giving them larger or more of the tasks to complete. For more information about routines from one of our Occupational Therapists, see Bre’s blog on routines: https://www.cooeespeech.com.au/2019/06/2384
For further information regarding independence skills in your child, please contact the clinic to get in touch with one of our Speech Pathologists or Occupational Therapists.