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Growing up I think there are quite a lot of things I wish I’d been able to do, or even try to do. I never really learned how to cook or to manage my finances properly. Even from a young age I think there are lots of ways to encourage children to be more independent and they are things you can do really easily!
Helping to prepare meals
As cooking isn’t something I did myself as a child I think this is something all children can benefit from. There are lots of things that children can do in the kitchen such as helping to wash food and helping to prepare food before it is cooked. I know there can be some worry about what kind of knives children should use but the Kuhn Rikon kinderkitchen Dog Knife With Teeth is a really great option. It has an easy grip handle and the dog’s ears act as a guard from the blade. These knives are obviously not as sharp as regular knives but they will allow children to help cut things like fruit and vegetables.
Chores at home
From around the age of 2 we have asked Erin to do simple things around the house. She has been taking her own dishes out into the kitchen and placing them in the sink for a couple of years now and we really encourage her to clear up after herself. This is something that Erin does every day at the Montessori nursery she attends so it’s nice to be able to keep something familiar for her all the time.
Small chores such as putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket, picking clothes out for the day ahead or maybe getting drinks themselves for older children really help to encourage not only independence but thinking for themselves and planning ahead.
One of the biggest things that I think children should learn to help with independence is time management. At the moment, Erin has no real concept of time so 10 minutes might as well be 10 hours to her. We constantly struggle with getting out of the house on time because if I say 8:30 etc. to Erin she doesn’t know what that means. We are slowly working on learning to tell the time with the Hape chunky clock puzzle but I know we’ve got a long way to go.
Older children will be much more aware of how long certain things take, what times things need to be done or maybe the time that they need to be somewhere. A lot of this comes with being at school, especially if they get there and back on their own. Apple watches for children are a great idea for teenagers as it will not only help them with time management but also to be in control of other aspects of their lives.
Growing up I was terrible with money and honestly, I have only really gotten better with it in recent years. I think a lot of this comes from not really understanding what things cost as a child. Erin already gets pocket money if she completes certain tasks each week. She already knows that if she doesn’t do these things then she won’t get any money. When she does get the money though she has the option to spend it each week on a treat or she can save it up to buy something bigger. I love that Erin is already learning that she can’t have everything she wants and she needs to save up for something if she hasn’t already got enough money.
I’d love to know what you do to encourage independence in your children! Let me know!
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