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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

To help your child succeed in life it is important to look at the big picture. It might be easier to remove everyday obstacles to make them happier in the moment, but learning habits that will benefit them into adulthood are more beneficial in the long run. Here are four ways to encourage your child to develop the habits that will help them become happier and more independent.

Teaching Over Telling

Some parents get the idea that when their child doesn’t do something they want them to do they’re acting stubborn and disrespectful. For example, when you tell your child to clean their room explain what a clean room should look like. If they’re leaving out a vital part of the cleaning process each week, show your child what you want them to do and let them try it out on their own.

Praise Them

Children love getting praise from their parents. Whether it’s a simple phrase of appreciation from you across the room or a conversation during an afternoon car ride, your child loves the way you take notice of their efforts. If they put away their toys, washed their dishes or hung up their clothes, let them know you noticed. This will encourage more good behavior in the future.

Make An Action Plan

It’s tough for children to understand how habits work. Repeated tasks can seem boring and even unnecessary for little ones, especially when it comes to hygiene. Whether you’re teaching them how to take a bath or inspiring good dental care techniques at night, help them develop an action plan to put a habit in place. For example, once your child has finished their dinner, they should head off to the dishwasher and immediately put their dishes away.

Trust Them

Instead of reminding them to practice their instrument or do their homework every 10 minutes, show them that you trust them. After your child knows what to do and says they understand what needs to be done, let them do the task themselves. This helps a child develop a strong sense of independence in a small way. When you loosen the reins a little more each year, children start seeing themselves as capable people.

Teaching children to be more independent isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Step by step and task by task, your child will develop the habits they need to become an independent individual.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want independent children.