Every parent’s goal is to raise children who are independent, confident and ready to face the world! But, do you know what the secret to raising confident kids is? Michael Grose, Australia’s number one parenting educator and author, says that the job description for parents hasn’t changed since the dawn of time.
“Love them, bond with them, teach them and spend time with them,” is Grose's main advice, but he also has the secret to raising confident kids that will change the way you parent.
Grose wrote an essay on the subject and he says that no matter what the project is, whether it’s gardening, renovating a house or raising kids, start every undertaking with the end in mind.
“The end game or goal for parents is redundancy. Your job is to make yourself redundant as a parent from your child’s earliest possible age,” he says.
When redundancy is the aim, you’ll stop doing things for kids and start giving them opportunities to do things themselves.
“You’ll spend most of your active parenting time teaching, explaining and prodding your child toward independence,” says Grose.
Grose’s 4 C’s to Independence
- Confidence: This comes from facing your fears and doing things for yourself.
- Competence: It comes from the opportunity to develop self-mastery that independence offers.
- Creativity: Creativity is developed when kids solve problems themselves as opposed to someone solving them on their behalf, or worse, keeping kids safe. It’s amazing how resourceful kids can be when they are given the chance to resolve their own problems.
- Character: This is essential for success, is forged under hardship and is needed if kids are to live a sturdy life. Kids need to be exposed to disappointment, failure and conflict if character strengths such as grit and perseverance are to be forged.
How to Raise Independent Kids
Grose says that adults are the gatekeepers for children’s independence.
“Without realizing it, many parents make choices on their children’s behalf.” He says that the key is to allow kids to follow their own impulses, even if they are different to their own parents. Allow kids to take responsibility and own their own problems.
Manage your kids visually instead of talking, and use signs, lists and rosters. Start slowly to create independent kids by starting to make their bed and have them continue or accompany your child most of the way to school and let them walk the last 200 meters on their own. “That’s a junior version of walking to school,” he adds.
“Work like mad to develop their real independence so they become capable of handling what life will throw their way. Then you’ll know your job as a parent is done!”
Grose is the author of nine parenting books and is a speaker and parenting expert. To learn more about instilling confidence in your child, head to his site at www.parentingideas.com.au.