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Promoting Independence

Making the bed, opening a juice box, and getting

dressed in the morning are just a few things that we  as caregivers, parents, teachers, and therapists do for our children. It’s just easier to do it for them, right? We tend to always be in a hurry or have something else on our minds for us to stop and realize that our kids end up not doing anything on their own anymore.

If anyone gets it, it’s me. With my job, I could spend up to five minutes waiting for one of my kiddos to open the straw and put it in his juice box. In my head, I immediately regret this decision. Why did I tell him to open his own juice box? Why did I feel compelled to say, “You can do it all by yourself! I believe in you!” Time goes by and he finally gets his straw open. He places it into his juice box. He takes a sip and the look on his face is priceless. He is filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment! It finally hits me. This is why I waited the five minutes. This is why I encouraged him to do it on his own. The boost of confidence and look of pure joy made it all worth it. Giving our kids the opportunities to become self-sufficient is one of the greatest things we could do for them. I believe that promoting these three things will help our kiddos achieve their ultimate success day in and day out.

Promote Self Worth- Letting our kids know that they have what it takes and reinforcing that every day will help them believe they can do it. Tell them they are geniuses! Let them know they are doing a great job. Constant encouragement and reinforcement can be really motivating for them.

Promote Confidence- Our kids depend on us more than we realize. We all know the look they give us: “You’re going to help me with this right?” Or they reach out and hand you the bag of chips expecting us to open if for them. Even if it something new to them, let them try it themselves first. You can step in if you see they need some help. Helping them when they need it is absolutely necessary. When we know they can do do something, that is how the confidence will boost and they will not longer be looking to us for that cue or prompt.

Promote Independence- Make your kid put his plate in the sink. Tell him to go throw something away. Make him ask for a snack and then have him go make it himself. This may take more time and require more patience, but that could change your daily routine….for the better! At the end of the day, we love our children and want the the best for them. Why not start now? Why not promote independence now? Down the road, it will be worth our while!

Sydney Shadle RBT


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