Since pregnancy, you probably have gotten unsolicited advice on how to raise your children. Some of the biggest pieces of “advice” are around independence. Not many new parents ask some “how to help kids be more independent?”
But, people always love to give advice about sleep training, self-soothing, and not snuggling your baby all day. All because people believe these things will make a baby “independent.”
Yes, we all want our kids to grow up and become independent, confident, resilient fabulous humans. But independent children do not come from sleep training or not being snuggled. I suggest you snuggle them any moment you can because they grow up way too fast (I know!).
Benefits of Executive Functioning Skills
Before I dive into my three tips or secrets on how to help kids be more independent and how to raise independent children, let’s chat about executive functioning skills. There are 11 executive functioning skills, each being important in its own way. Now, you will not be able to read each function and just randomly make lists about your observations and your child’s needs and get everything figured out. It’s gonna fail.
Learn more about developing executive skills in my video below!
Executive Functioning skills are separated into two different categories.
The thinking skills help create the vision needed to accomplish a task.
Working memory– Being able to remember information while completing an activity.
Organizing- Maintaining the order needed to get things done.
Planning/ prioritizing- Knowing what to work on first to reach a goal.
Time Awareness- Ability to predict and estimate how long something will take.
Metacognition- Using the voice in your head to self-evaluate.
Check out these blog posts that focus on the thinking skills:
The doing skills guide the actions needed to complete the task themselves.
Response inhibition- Being able to think before you act.
Emotional control- Staying on task even when something makes you upset.
Sustained attention- Completing a preferred and non preferred activity.
Task initiation- Being able to get started on a task.
Flexibility- Adapting to a new or unexpected event.
Goal-directed persistence- Holding a goal in mind & complete the needed steps to meet the goal.
Check out these blog posts that focus on the doing skills:
The real way to find kids’ independence is to find their unique executive function skill set. It’s critical to find the strengths and do more of what they are good at. Then we take the weak areas, strategically build experiences, and modify the activity to change the brain and the environment so that the “weak” skill improves.
The takeaway is to hope executive functioning skills can improve, which is much easier than you thought.
My Proven Tips On How To Help Kids Be More Independent
As parents, you do this as best as you can raising kids. You pick the best toys and schools. You help them with school work and teach them to be good friends, family members, and community members. What if your child is not able to do it on their own? Let’s discuss how to help kids be more independent.
Development doesn’t happen with fairy dust and magic. When figuring out how to help kids be more independent. We need to use what we know about executive functioning skills. Using executive functioning skills to help children develop their independence is easier than it may seem.
Don’t have time to read? Watch the video below.
Here are 3 totally actionable tips on how to help kids be more independent. In this blog post, you’ll learn how you can help children complete activities, stick to a schedule, and easily transition from one task to another without criticizing, fighting, or feeling hopeless and helpless.
3 Actionable Tips For How To Help Kids Be More Independent
Now, when you want to teach kids to be more independent, you want to teach kids life skills that will help them even when they are no longer living in your home.
A child’s independence is an essential piece of their life, and you want to foster it and help them in any way you can. So teaching your child to be independent comes down to three things: all executive functioning skills!
Teaching kids to organize may seem impossible; some of us have not yet mastered this skill. There are so many benefits of having organized children, teens, and young adults.
- An organized child will experience less anxiety. They will be a little more chill and may go with the flow a little more.
- They will be efficient. Being efficient will save you and your children so much time on schoolwork, chores, and other tasks.
- Children can actually get things done. Your child will no longer miss soccer practice or turn in assignments late if they have an organization system or way to keep things in their proper places.
Help your child develop time awareness. I didn’t say time management. It’s a myth when it comes to kids and teens! Starting with time management for difficulties with this executive functioning skill is usually a FAIL.
- A child with an awareness of time can stick to a schedule.
- They will be able to complete activities on time.
- Kids can start and stop activities and easily transition from one activity to another.
Help your child develop working memory. Working memory is layered into most of our successes and is also responsible for struggles.
- A child with a developed working memory will have more success.
- They will be able to remember what they need to do (even after they/you walk away).
- They’ll remember what they were asked to do by an adult, peer, teacher, etc.
Parenting is not easy, and we always look for ways to help our children. Use these three activities to encourage independence!
How To Make Your Child Independent
Organization, time awareness, and working memory encourage and support your kids to take steps towards independence.
How exactly to do this is the next step.
I have made this easy for you. Check out the three-bundle workshop here. This workshop will fast pass all your efforts to independent kids.
With this bundle, you will get a step-by-step success path. It will tell you exactly what to do to help your child develop the three executive functioning skills above.