It’s difficult being a parent. Especially being a mom. There are so many worries running through your mind. Were they able to get home okay? Have they eaten? Did they make new friends? Really, you just worry endlessly about your child, and that’s understandable.
The best way to worry less is to prepare your child to face the world out there. And you don’t have wait till their teenage years to teach them to be independent. Even in their younger years, you definitely have a lot of opportunities to teach your child these life skills that would help them as they grow up.
One of the simplest things you can start off teaching your kids is getting ready on their own. It’s something they’re already doing with you every day, which makes this a great place to start fostering their independence.
Let your kid prepare their clothes the night before. You can ask them to take care of their hygiene and explain why taking a bath, brushing their teeth, washing their hands, and changing their clothes are important. Maybe you can use pictures and outline their to-do checklist on a poster and stick them on their closet, so your kid can use it as a guide.
Eventually, they may even volunteer to do these themselves, and when they do, you just have to praise them and let them know they’re doing good.
Most parents think it’s easier to do the household chores themselves while they let their children play. But don’t miss this opportunity. It’s a great chance for your child to learn the importance of cleanliness of their living space, because they’ll find this most useful when they eventually go off to college or start living on their own.
Start with their own things. You can ask them to make their bed, put away their toys, and organize their room. Then you can move outside their room and ask them to clear their plates, fold fresh laundry, and maybe even wash some non-breakable dishes.
Getting around the neighborhood
It’s a scary world out there, but we’re sure you know that your child would eventually need to navigate that world on their own. It’s best to teach them early and let them find their way around. At least you can start with your neighborhood. Show your kid through a safe route they can take to get home from school, then let them lead the next time you pick them up, until you’re sure they can find their way home easily. Teach them how to cross the street. Let them go to the nearby sari-sari store to buy snacks. Once they’re older, you can teach them how to read a map and use a GPS, to ride a bike, to use the public transportation, and who to approach during emergencies.
As social beings, we’re all drawn to other people, and your child is no exception. Making friends is a life skill your child would need early on, especially as they enter school or even just when they go to the park to play. Be a good role model by showing love and respect to one another right at your own home. Foster empathy by explaining why apologizing is important when they’ve done something wrong or saying thank you when someone did something for them. You can set aside some time to roleplay situations your child might encounter with their friends, like how to talk to their new classmates or how to say goodbye when someone is leaving.
Admittedly, kids don’t really have a problem about telling people what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. But with all the social norms and expectations they learn as they grow up, that innate openness is slowly but surely hidden away.
That’s why it’s best to let them know they can talk to you about whatever they want whenever they want. When your child tells you something, listen to them and ask them questions. Ask how their day went and what happened at school, and we’re sure you’d even learn about things like their first crushes. If you do this constantly, your child would find it easy to open up to you and help them in communicating with others as well.
There are so many important decisions your child would need to make, just like you did before, so it’s best to teach them how to make their own decisions at a young age. You can start asking them to choose between two options: white socks or black socks, chocolate or vanilla ice cream, t-shirt or sweater.
Once they get the hang of it, you can add more choices, and eventually, ask them to make bigger decisions like what extracurricular activities they want to take or how to spend their summer. When they make these decisions, act as their coach and give advice. Let them know what could happen if they decide this or that, and let them learn that there are consequences to each decision, no matter how big or small it is.
Being curious and creative
The easiest way to help develop a child’s creativity and curiosity is to let them play and have fun. Playing is a child’s way of coping with and exploring the world, allowing them to grow creatively, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Encourage your child to take up creative activities like drawing, painting, writing, singing, and other artistic expressions. Let your child’s imagination flow with encouraging words, endless support, and constant praise.
One of the best ways you can make sure your child is ready for independence is to let them help in meal preparation. When you’re preparing breakfast, ask them to be your little sous chef. Or start simple and let them make their own baon-worthy sandwiches with their favorite Lady’s Choice Meaty Spreads. Let your kid choose between Chicken, Ham, Tuna, and Bacon for their school snacks. The flavorful meaty spreads made with real meat and a rich blend of spices bring the perfect creaminess and deliciousness to your kid’s breakfast.
Just like this heartwarming mom-and-son pair, you can even turn this meal prep time into bonding time with your child.
What’s your delicious bonding moment with Lady’s Choice? Share them with us below!