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Independence Day.

Random outings with my daughters always turn out so well.

It’s those planned ones that will bore them and tire them out even before the outing starts.

NOW I KNOW THE TRICK.

I’m so smart.

So right after I fetched them home from school today, I decided to bring them somewhere for lunch. So I casually asked them the question while I was driving.

“Girls, you wanna lunch at home or somewhere else today?”

The almost immediate replies I got from them?

“SOMEWHERE ELSE, MUMMY!!!”

“CAN WE EAT FISH & CHIPS?”

“YAY! WE ARE EATING FISH & CHIPS!”

“WE PROMISE TO BE AT OUR BEST BEHAVIOUR!”

Sweet.

They consensually decided on their favourite place to eat in the whole wide world;

MANHATTAN FISH MARKET.

But before that, we did the normal routine; it was a trip to the Ladies so that they could do their business, however small or big. As usual, they did not even allow me in the cubicle.

“Mummy, just wait outside & look at yourself in the mirror. We can do pass urine ourselves.”

OUCH MUCH?

Okay lor. Wait outside and take picture of myself then. No biggie.

And check out my bag please, I beg you.

That’s my bad habit; I do not know how to close my bag. I am ALWAYS like that!

Go shopping don’t know how to close bag.

Take picture also don’t know how to close bag.

Meanwhile, my big girls were inside the same cubicle and taking turns to use the toilet.

They took quite some time amidst the chitchatting and all.

Finally, they were out, with their uniform properly tucked in, no less.

Awwwww.

Actually, I am very proud of them three for trying very hard to be independent. They need to, anyway. My eldest will be in primary school next year, so it is about time I learn to let go a bit, and teach her the need for independence at the same time. You know what they say about kids with healthy self esteem? These kids will grow up to be independent and responsible adults. So I am just glad the methods I have tried out on them seem to be working…this far. And because they seem to be working, I will now share them with you.

1) Believe

Children love to be praised and complimented for every thing they do. They need to know you believe in them. You want them to do something, you encourage them with positive words such as, “Come on, you can do it. You are a smart girl.” Teach your children to think positively about themselves. Confidence builds on itself, and your child will gain greater self esteem when you encourage independence and responsibility.

2) Refuse to Step In

You know how sometimes you will grumble each time they take too long to do an age-appropriate activity like tying their shoelaces, eating on their own or keeping their toys. It can be hard to watch them do these things. It can even be pretty excruciating too because you just cannot wait that long for them to be done, right? Your time is precious. They cannot waste your time. I know because I used to be guilty of this too. But really, if you have that extra time to spare, show them how to do it, let go, and let them struggle. Super mean right? I do not think so. I think that is called learning. The joy they feel when they gain a little more independence can be very rewarding, and a strong motivator to try new and more challenging tasks in the future.

3) Routines

Routines give your child practice and repetition. If, for instance, the after school routine includes putting away their shoes and schoolbag, having an afternoon nap, and later doing their school work, your child will learn that responsibility is a way of life. If bedtime is at 9 pm, you jolly well stick to that timing regardless of how impossible it may seem sometimes. When a child does the same thing over and over, he learns independence without even thinking about it.

4) Fall Down & Experience

Resist the strong urge to rescue your child every time. You cannot possibly be a helicopter and hover over your child 24/7. I used to be like this actually, but that was until I figured out I was spoiling them instead. Life is full of opportunities to succeed and make mistakes. If you fall down, get back up again. Learning takes place when children are allowed to make mistakes. But when they make mistakes, do not make it seem like they have committed the biggest crime ever! Keep telling them it is okay to make mistakes but you need to also let him/her experience the natural or imposed consequences. If they are not that pleased with what they have achieved or attained, then they should know they need to try harder in future. 

5) Coach 

When your child is faced with a problem or situation, ask a lot of open ended questions that encourage your child to think for herself instead of immediately telling her what to do. For instance, if a friend disturbs her in class and she does not like it, ask her questions like “What do you think you should do?” or “What should you say to your friend?” Give her the chance to handle the situation based on what she thinks is right.

When you keep advising your children, it only tells them what YOU want and what YOU think is best. Coaching your children to make decisions on their own supports them in developing good decision making skills, and honoring what is best for them. It’s okay if they do not make the best choice. Nobody is perfect, anyway. Live and learn.

The goal in raising children is not to protect them from pain or harm, but to equip them essentially with what they need to be independent, responsible, and resilient adults.

So yeah, I admit I sometimes I make my girls cry through the above methods, but hey, I am seeing the positive results already. (Please do not fail me X 1000 times.) HA HA.

I hope to raise three independent girls. Insya’allah.

Not whiny, overindulged or petulant ones who insist on having things their way all the time, no matter what.

How to survive in the real and tough world when they are only fit for the castle?

:S

“Perhaps we have been misguided into taking too much responsibility from our children, leaving them too little room for discovery.”

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posted by admin in Activities,Education,Family,Life,M&Ms,Myreen Nadya,Mysha Nadya,Nadyas Say The Darndest Thing,Parenting,Sharleez Nadya,The Nadyas and have Comments Off on Independence Day.

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