One of the biggest dreams I have for my 3 kids is to see them happy, healthy, and fully independent as adults. Don’t get me wrong - I love every moment I have with them and seeing them grow, but I can rest easy when I know they have found their path and will be independently happy and taken care of. No one can predict whether that will be the case of course, but I believe this is one of the dreams for all parents.
How do we ensure independence later? We create as many possibilities as we can at an early age. We expose our kids to various environments in a safe way, we show them there will always be someone or something to keep them calm and comfortable. How do we do this?
We focus on increasing their coping skills from a young age. We have to provide our children with the tools they will need to survive not only heartache and disappointment but also dangerous moments and who they might rely on during these moments. We practice these scenarios through figurine play and social stories and we always help our children to understand that their emotions are important and respected. We validate their emotions of fear in certain situations that might not be as scary for others, but we show them that their differences do not make these feelings wrong.
We also show our children how authentically proud we are of them when they do show independence and we cheer them on to explore more ways in which they can complete tasks, activities, or conversations themselves. It doesn’t matter if they complete these differently than others, it means they have tried and this is what we want. Practice makes perfect, but who believes in perfection? We want to rather practice to have fun and then the rest will become easier as we become more comfortable with trying.
We would love to hear from you - comment below and let us know what activities your child can complete independently. Ask them to comment if they can - we want to hear from our independent champs!