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Promoting Independence

Are you micromanaging your children?
It’s not easy to respond to that question when you know that the answer is yes.
When you take care of everything for your kids, when you give instructions about every little thing – you are taking away real world opportunities for your children to learn and grow. What might begin as a time-saver here, and a sanity-saver there, can fast become a habit.
We have some suggestions to help you let go… even just a little.
(1) Think “Big Picture” 
Look at your whole child – the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual being. Are preparing this child for life? Allowing them to be independent is a huge, uncomfortable step. What if they fail? What if they embarrass themselves? What if they hurt themselves? What if they get frustrated?
This is real life. Prepare your child for disappointment, prepare them to fall flat on their faces – all the while giving them to tools to be resilient. Real life isn’t about what happens, it’s about how you deal with what happens. Resilience produces truly exceptional people.
(2) Stay Accountable
If you really want to see your child leap forward with independence, have your parenting partner remind you when you are micromanaging. You can use a code word to keep it subtle and inoffensive, helping you to realize when you are doing or saying too much for your child.
(3) Developmental Appropriateness 
Take a look at the children in your child’s class, and see what the majority of them can do in the way of life skills. While developmental delays can mean that comparison isn’t always the best choice, get a rough idea of what children their age can do. If you have an Occupational Therapist, mention some of these skills to the OT and see what is realistic for your child at this stage.
(4) Self Image 
While some kids are prone to accepting a lot of help for things that they can easily do themselves, others might demand help because they don’t think that they can do it alone. You know your child, you know what they are capable of – and if you think that something you have been doing for them is something that they are now capable of, it’s time to cut the rope. Imagine how good your child will feel about themselves when they realize that task is not too hard anymore! Let’s help our kids rise to the next level.
(5) Allow them to Grow Up 
Building on the idea of self image, is the fact that at some point we need to let kids grow up. The easiest way to do this is letting it happen little by little, every single day. We can do this by teaching skills, instead of doing things for them.

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