Parents play a very important role in raising their children. Often times, children are a reflection of their parents’ personality. Your upbringing reflects in everyday behavior of your baby. You can raise your baby to be dependent or independent, boisterous or calm, shy or outgoing, just as you want her to be. You can mould your baby the way you want, starting very early in life. You can start with the process of making your baby self-reliant even before the age of one.
Assisting Her In The Process Of Becoming Independent.
Helping your baby become independent mainly involves giving her ample freedom to explore, learn and appreciate. However, you must maintain that you are the person in charge to decide the extent of independence of the baby and you must teach your baby when to lead and when to follow the rules, with reason and consistency.
Let Your Baby Explore: As babies grow they start exploring things around them. Baby proof your house and give her the freedom to touch, feel and learn. But don’t forget to supervise from a distance. Help your baby relate to different things by training her, like a dining table with eating, TV with remote, garden with plants, night with stars, phone with talking etc. Within weeks, your baby is able to understand and relate things.
Let Your Baby Learn: Teach your baby different things according to her age. As she grows a little older, demonstrate how to arrange her toys and then encourage her to do so herself. Then gradually ask her to help you in picking up the toys one by one once she finishes playing. Encourage her to do so everyday after play. Slowly you can stop doing it for her. Sooner than you expect, you are going to see that your baby has learned to do it all on her own.
Let Your Baby Speak: Interact with your baby often and encourage her to speak. Teach her to ask questions about things she doesn’t know. Encourage her to become inquisitive about daily things. Let her ask when, why and how. Very soon she is going to develop independent thinking. Talk to her about her favorite cartoons or games and encourage her to share her views. Give your baby the freedom to make telephonic conversations. You can allow special time for your baby to speak to her grandparents over the phone.
Avoid Too Many Restrictions: Allow your baby to choose her favorite toys. In a grocery store, give her the freedom to pick up one or two things of her choice. Give her the liberty to do things she likes for a few hours everyday. Observe her while she plays and share your ideas about creative things with her. By giving up too much control, you are giving your baby the room to learn things on her own. If she makes an effort to take a book from a shelf on top using a chair, allow it but make sure that she remains safe. Minor tosses and turns should not worry you.
Avoid Doing Simple Chores for Your Baby: You may be a parent who is a bit over concerned about your little one. But this over concern should not overpower the independence of your baby. Let your baby do her own things, like fetching a water bottle for herself from the table or climbing up the bed. Just give suggestions or instructions if required. Standby and closely observe. Give her freedom and space as she grows.
Appreciate a Lot: Appreciate every effort your baby makes to do or learn new things. Encourage her to overcome failures by learning new things on her own. Give suggestions only when really needed and encourage her for the efforts that she makes. Praise her talents, approach and special skills. Encourage her to try out newer things and help her in exploring and enhancing her abilities. Doing so instills a confident self-image in your baby. Give her freedom of decision-making wherever appropriate and see her shine with confidence.
Avoid Giving Too Much or Too Less of Freedom: Remember "Too much or too little of anything is bad." Maintain appropriate degree of control and authority as a parent without interfering with your baby’s self-reliance. As a parent you need to channelize your baby’s independence, help your baby identify when it is time to “follow the group” and when she can let her spirits charge forward.
Some Techniques to Make Your Baby Independent.
Raising a baby to grow into an independent individual can be a challenge in itself. However, by consciously and consistently applying the following suggestions, you can accomplish this task very smoothly:
Explain the Rules Clearly: Independence does not imply that you let your baby make all the rules all the time. As a parent, you set the rules for your baby and explain them to her clearly. Stay firm on those rules and most importantly, try not to change them.
Be Consistent: Your baby must know what to expect from you. The rules, rewards and punishments should be consistent. Make sure that you stick to your words.
Don’t Resort to Threatening: Do not make empty threats about punishments. If you don’t follow through with your words, then your warnings carry no weight.
Be Firm: If you have said no to your baby, do not go back on your words under any circumstances. This makes your baby understand that you mean what you say. Don’t be harsh or blunt while saying no. Be gentle but firm. This makes your baby behave better and be less likely to question your authority. Your independent baby often tries to remake or stretch the rules, make sure you control them with consistent expectations.
Let Your Baby Make Mistakes: Let your baby make a few mistakes if the repercussions of those mistakes are not harmful to anyone. Making mistakes is a great opportunity for her to learn and helps her realize that she is not as invincible as she thinks. Let her peer group take control sometimes so that she realizes that she cannot always lead or always be correct.
Help Your Baby Take on the World On Her Own.
Independent children grow up to do great things, even when the odds are against them. They achieve monumental victories and serve as valuable role models by influencing others to make positive choices in their every day lives. Allow your baby as much appropriate independence as you can. Instill good values, courage and wisdom in your baby and see her grow into a more confident and self-sufficient adult!