July 5, 2011 ~
Summer parties provide great opportunities to start thinking of ways to foster independence in your child.
Here are some simple tips that parents can use all summer to encourage independence in their children in order to help build their self-esteem and better equip them to handle challenges that lie ahead.
Assign Party Prep Roles
Whether you are celebrating by having a large party or a small family barbecue, you will need to prepare the house, buy groceries and get everything set up for your guests. This provides a great opportunity for you to get some help and instill independence in your child. Giving your child a role in any event is important.
Once you have your list of to do’s, go through it and identify the tasks you know your child can tackle on his or her own. Once you’ve done that, let your child know what jobs he or she is responsible for. Be available should your child need some direction, but try and let your child do the bulk of the work independently. You can use activities like this all summer long to help with work around the house while your child is off from school.
Encourage Co-Hosting Opportunities
Once your party starts, encourage your child to help you host it. Depending on your child’s age, he or she can be in charge of taking orders for the grill or greeting the guests. The idea is for your child to have a sense of ownership. Small activities like this build up over time to support an independent, confident child. Keep an eye on your child so that you can recall how well he or she did later in the evening.
Give Cleanup Tasks to the Whole Family
After all the burgers have been eaten and the games played, the cleanup process commences. Assign cleanup tasks so that everyone pitches in to lighten the load. Your child can help gather cups and paper plates or dry the dishes. Thank your child for all the help he or she has provided and be sure to express how proud you are of his or her effort in taking charge and getting things done.
Talk to Your Child
Talk with your child to discover what parts of the day were his or her favorite or what jobs were the most challenging. Knowing this will help you assign tasks throughout the summer that will increase your child’s independence.
Every day is an opportunity for your child to become more independent. Helping at parties is a fun way for your child to learn this valuable skill.