When it comes to loving your child, all you want to do is give them the world. While giving them all the love possible, it is also essential to teach your child the importance of independence and empowerment through making them feel loved and empowered.
Too much love without any direction can result in a child who may be too dependent or clingy towards parents. Using your love and adoration for your child the right way can unleash a powerful side hidden in your kid's personality, which might even surprise you.
Why talk about empowerment or independence now when my child is small?
The question is, why not? If you notice, children try hard to impersonate their parents in small ways. They might want to help you with the laundry or perhaps doing the dishes. It is always the parents who tend to say things like "Don't do that!" "Mommy will do it" "Daddy will do it" "You can do it when you are older.
While some things are not possible or dangerous for children to do, there are many harmless tasks that you can encourage your child to do. Performing these tasks will result in them having a sense of pride and empowerment, which will eventually grow and unfold into them feeling self-reliant, independent, or perhaps even more beneficial.
Won't my child feel overwhelmed?
No. As long as they know they have your loving care and support through it, they will look at this as a way to make you feel proud of them. You can then use this as an excellent opportunity to remind your child how much you are proud of them and how great they are in these small tasks.
This will make them feel happiness and pride and result in them wanting to take up more work, which will make them more self-reliant and help them learn to trust their decisions in small things.
While there are children who like to initiate wanting to be involved in day-to-day tasks to help you, some children might not be as inclined or perhaps afraid to ask. In such cases, you need to teach slowly and steadily to take up small responsibilities. Making your child accomplish small tasks may seem like a small thing for you, but this signifies overcoming a challenge to a child's mind.
As adults, we find overcoming challenges hard enough. But getting if you want to instill into your child the meaning of a challenge and the importance of overcoming them in the future, there is no better way than using small tasks or responsibilities to teach them this.
Of course, this might cause you as a parent to feel a tad bit worried in the beginning. But as you see your child initiate and come to you themselves with thoughts and decisions of their own, you will feel nothing but pride.
What kind of tasks can help my child feel empowered?
You do not need mammoth tasks or extravagant achievements to make your child feel empowered. You will be surprised at how some small, simple yet effective tasks at home can make your child feel empowered and get them to feel more self-reliant.
Here are seven quick day to day tasks or projects you can ask your child to do while you supervise and gently advise:
1. Taking full responsibility for their toys
Children are, of course, obsessed with the toys they play with but often forget about them after they finish playing. We being good parents, mostly prefer to clean up ourselves while our child watches or is perhaps asleep.
It is time to stop this completely. It is essential to communicate with your child and let them know that they must clean up if they want playtime with their toys.
Of course, they will not be able to do this alone and need your assistance at the start but get them to understand this is important. Making this as fun as possible is also crucial. You do not want your child to look at this as some tiring or useless task.
Try creating background stories of their toys and making your child feel like the health of his/her toys depend on how well they care for them.
2. Let your child choose what they wear
Often after our child bathes or gets ready for the day, we set out their baby clothes ready, and all they need to do is slide into them. Instead of doing this, use this as an excellent opportunity to teach your child how to choose clothes that they like and feel confident in them.
Let your child take some time to decide what they wish to wear. While, of course, they might not wear a fancy dress or suit to bed, you can establish some rules or categorize their clothes and proceed to ask them to choose from specific categories.
Once they select what they wish to wear, you can help them wear or try their clothing choice. But remember, you must encourage them to make the final choice.
It will take quite a few tries, but children are quick learners. This will help your child learn how to choose and how to be confident with their decision.
3. Encourage your child to self-groom while you supervise
Self-grooming is a highly crucial part of a routine for all human beings. While some people, even as adults, struggle with self-grooming, you can teach this to your child from a young age, so it becomes an integral part of a routine.
Of course, not all self-grooming tasks can be done by a child right away, and this will have to be taught slowly and in parts, but basics such as brushing your teeth, washing/sponging your body or face, and hair combing is something you can show your child how to do, and they can then follow it slowly as they learn. This will teach them that self-care and not relying on other people for it is crucial.
4. Give your child a fixed period in a day to do something they enjoy
We usually create a fixed routine for our kids. We choose how they should spend their day, and eventually, your child becomes inclined towards following it like clockwork. While an adult needs to create a schedule, it is also necessary to incorporate into it a little bit of what your child wants.
Also, it is fun for your child and something that they will look forward to doing. This will make your child feel like their opinion matters and encourage them to have more thoughts or views about plans or situations. More than anything, you will teach them the importance of having 'me time' and self-love from a young age.
5. Let them take the lead during reading time
While traditionally it is the adult who reads out books to the children before bedtime, reversing roles could prove beneficial. Of course, this does not mean that you stop reading to your child altogether. Reading before sleeping is a great bonding experience between parent and child, but you could reverse roles, say every alternate day.
While you spend one day reading a book of your child's choice, the next day, you could choose a book and let your child could read it to you. Let them do the reading, turning every page and deciding when to stop. This will make them feel like equals with you and as important as anyone else.
6. Teach them eating etiquette and listen to them when they say they feel full
While dinner and lunch are quite the task with children, it is vital to turn this into yet another lesson to teach your child how to be independent. Try including them and showing them how you eat.
You can start by bringing in a mini set of spoons similar looking to the ones you use. Try having a meal with your child, so they watch and observe you while they slowly learn.
It is also essential to pay attention to when your child says that they are feeling full. We usually push children to finish their meals.
However, as long as your child has had a healthy amount of food that contains the correct amount of nutrients, it is okay if they say that they can't eat anymore.
Paying attention to these factors will help them understand their relationship with food and feel like they have control in this aspect of their life.
7. Let them help you cook or make a snack for themselves
Children are often curious when their parents are in the kitchen preparing meals, and you might find a small, cute set of hands tugging on your shirt asking you what you were going to do.
While there are dangers to letting small children into the kitchen when not under observation, small harmless tasks such as kneading dough, mixing cake batter, or peeling an orange to serve are good enough to make your child feel accomplished.
When you let your child indulge in such small activities with you, it helps them feel included and acts as a great bonding activity. Another way to go about this is to encourage your child to make his or her snack.
A simple PBJ sandwich is something you could start with making. You can offer a simple baby spoon and watch as they dig out PBJ and apply it on bread while you cheer them on. Seeing your support praise will be their biggest reward.
The best part about these tasks is that they can be included and used in your existing routine. It will take patience and quite a few tries, but you will have your child feeling accomplished with themselves, resulting in a strong sense of being empowered at the end of it.
Liked these tips? Start making your child feel independent and empowered now! You can start now by heading over to our baby clothes collection and asking your child what kind of clothes they like.