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A lot of parents in modern times have this extremely unrealistic mindset that it’s possible to micromanage every aspect of your child’s life. In many ways, we are living in an age of helicopter parenting, and studies have shown this only leads to anxious and dependent children who rely on their parents for everything.

I don’t know about you, but that is not my vision. On the contrary, I believe that independent children will grow into a strong-minded individuals who can do whatever they put their mind to. Independent thinkers are the movers and shakers of the world, and to me, that is what I aspire for my child to grow into. With that said, if you are wishing for the same independence in your child, then read on.

1. Encourage them instead of telling them every move to make.

It’s tempting to jump in and solve all of your child’s problems for them, but it’s not going to make them independent or strong. Instead of jumping in and taking over, stand aside and coach and encourage them.

2. Allow them room to learn.

Kids need space to grow and play. Studies have shown that free play benefits kids in a myriad of ways. Not only does it encourage their social skills, but it also helps develop their imagination and even creates problem-solving skills.

3. Let them fail.

I know it’s hard to watch your child fail, but hear me out: you need to. When kids fail, they have no other option than to give up or to try another route. And if you encourage them to try again until they get it, they are going to thank you for it one day.

4. Give them chores.

Chores build confidence, discipline, responsibility, and independence. On top of that, you get a helper around the house. But, no really, they need to learn responsibility and everything else, so give them some chores.

5. Reward them with an allowance.

And if you want to help them to be more independent, teach them how to manage their own money by giving them a small allowance. Encourage them to save towards goals, and help them understand what the value of their money is.

6. Let them go on play dates and to sleepovers.

Many parents fear sending their kids to someone else’s for a play date or sleepover. And by no means am I saying send them to someone’s house you don’t know. Instead, send them to a trusted friend or family member’s house who has a kid so they can have time apart from you to become even more independent.

7. Don’t baby talk them.

Rather than baby-talking your child, approach them like they are your equal. This will help encourage them to not only speak better and develop a better vocabulary, but it will also help them to gain independence.

8. Don’t use the phrase “because I said so”

When you use this phrase, you miss out on a valuable opportunity to teach your child how to do something. So, instead of saying “Because I said so,” explain why. Next time, they won’t even question it because they will understand.

9. Let them resolve conflicts on their own.

When your child is facing a conflict, don’t rush to solve it for them. Instead, give them solutions and encourage them to pick the one that helps them most. In time, they will know the right solution without your help.