Photo by Muziyan Du
According to Dr. Carolyn Nooks-Teague’s seminal Three Dimensions of Learning, school is a very important aspect when you are raising independent children.
Independence is the basis for almost everything else to succeed in this world; as such, parents need to prioritize raising independent children who can stand on their own two legs and learn how to navigate the world by themselves.
As a personal quality, independence helps children feel more confident and capable in their ability to interact with others and with the broader world. Independence also prepares them for the challenges they will no doubt face in life—and according to Dr. Carolyn Nooks-Teague in Three Dimensions of Learning, school is a very important experience for that.
Raising independent children guarantees, at the very least, that they will have the fortitude of will to withstand setbacks and have the self-esteem to stand back up quickly.
It is important to remember that every child develops at their own pace. Keep going even if your child is not developing independence as quickly as you would like. Just keep providing them with opportunities to be independent and to practice problem-solving skills. With time and support, your child will develop the independence they need to succeed in school and beyond.
Setting Them Up for Life at School
School is not just a place for children to learn academic skills; it is also an opportunity for them to develop themselves on their own. As such, independence is a valuable trait to have. When raising independent children, you are raising individuals who already have a grasp of being responsible for their belongings, thinking critically, making reasoned choices, and asking for help when the situation demands it.
With these in mind, independent children are more likely to become confident and capable learners.
Therefore, it is crucial to prepare children for independence at school, as it sets them up for success in their academic and personal lives.
Schools have a crucial role in fostering independence in children; this is because they:
- Encourage self-directed learning.
- Promote problem-solving skills.
- Provide leadership opportunities.
- Encourage collaboration.
- Foster a growth mindset.
Raising Independent Children
While each child is different, and every parent needs to develop their own method and strategy in raising their child, there are common trends they can follow to better prepare their children for an independent life at school:
- Encourage your child to be responsible. Teach them how to pack and unpack their backpack, keep track of their supplies, and put their things away neatly. Helping them to develop a sense of ownership over their belongings is key to teaching them independence.
- Teach your child problem-solving. When your child is faced with a problem at school, instead of jumping in and solving it, help them brainstorm solutions and make a plan. This teaches them how to think critically and approach problems independently.
- Give your child choices. Whenever possible, give your child options about what they want to do at school. It could be anything from choosing what to wear for the day to what project they want to work on first. Giving your child choices helps them feel they have control and makes them more likely to be engaged and motivated.
- Encourage your child to ask for help. Being independent does not mean always doing things on your own. You should let your child know that it’s okay to ask for help when they are struggling. Let them develop a sense of resilience and prevent them from feeling frustrated and discouraged.
- Praise your child’s efforts. It is important to praise your child for their efforts, even if they fail. Part of being an independent individual is having a resilient mindset and a robust spirit. It’s okay to make mistakes; what’s important is learning from them.