Teaching Kids to Think for Themselves

It’s difficult in this modern age to know the right way of parenting. Truth be told, there is no right or wrong way to go about it, it all depends on your parenting style and what works best for you as a family.

That being said, there is always one point that is encouraged in all parenting models: the ability for independence and to make good decisions for themselves.

Here are a few ways in which you can encourage self-thinking and independence in a young mind that is just blossoming.

Explain Consequences

Consequences are such an important factor and when youngsters are first discovering the world, they often aren’t aware of the consequences of their actions. A plastic surgeon in The States, Dr. Nina Naidu, once said that there must be reason to make that decision, she was discussing her practice of enhancing bodies and faces, but the point still stands in every day life.

Whenever they do something big, ask them what they think will happen once they’ve done whatever it is that they were doing. Ge them to think it through.

A great way to teach this as an isolated exercise is to give them a squeezy bottle, like of toothpaste, and encourage them to squeeze it all out. They’ll be hesitant at first but won’t really take any time to go right ahead. Once the tube is empty, look at the mess and ask them what they are going to do about it. They’ll panic, but calmly explain to them that it was all just a game and that they didn’t think about what was going to happen before they started squeezing.

Demonstrate Your Own Behaviour

Children lead by example, so whenever you do anything and they’re in your presence, talk to them about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Discuss the options of your actions and why you chose to do the thing that you did.

Stand behind your choices and ensure they understand why you chose the way you did.

Give them a Chance to Make a Choice

Start small when they are small. Get them to choose between two outfits for the day and let them wear whatever they choose. Give them two or three options for dinner and make it for them without questions. It gives them the chance to think about what their doing and to realise that the choices they make do come to fruition.

When they do make a choice that you’re not too fond of, don’t criticize them. It’s second guessing their independence and can make them feel bad about the decisions they’ve made, knocking their confidence and making them more reliant on you as their parent.

Do What’s Right for You

As was said earlier, parenting is trial and error and what may work for one person, may not work for another. It’s all about trial and error and what works for your individual child.

Let us know any techniques that work with your kids, everyone’s experience is different, and your experience may just help someone else in the world.