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Raising your kid to be independent

30 September 2016, 19:26 Shakila Alivtsa

Nairobi - A friend was driving a couple’s kids to school. Both teenagers, one is a boy the other a girl. So one day the teenage girl tells her, ‘You know I am going to college soon and I do not even know how to make my own bed.

I do not even know how long I should stay before I change the sheets because we have people to do that. I just find it made.’

At first you will want to bash her but then you pull back and appreciate the fact that, she knows she has a problem that she has to fix. She is acknowledging the fact that on her own, she might be unable to tend to herself.

  1. Teach your child the basic stuff from a young age so that they can do it for themselves

When your child sees the maid making the bed and says she wants to make her own; don’t mock her or tell her it is not her job. Even the toddler, even if they do a shoddy job, don’t go and correct it. Let them have their pride moment. Adults have a habit of belittling little children’s efforts not realizing that it is something that sticks. That child will eventually not be bothered.  Then as teenagers you want to quarrel them for not doing. Character are habits formed. When she learns to do it on her own from a young age, she will not stop. This girl has no idea how to make a bed…spread a simple sheet on simple mattress. Now you can imagine her with her own laundry or what happens when she has to eat and she is not at home. Take out is expensive.

  1. Teach your child about money when they are young

This is usually the trick, give them a jar or one of those Jumbo elephants banks Kenyan banks give out. Give your child money and tell them to save it so that if they want to buy something; they will afford it for themselves. This teaches dedication. If your child wants a particular videogame or toy; they do a certain chore, you pay them, not large sums, little sums so that you can measure how dedicated they are when they actually want something.

Saving also teaches children responsibility with their money. ‘Do I want the sweet or the toy?’ But now some of you parents just buy and it teaches the child to be a little demanding brat, you will eat fruits of your labour when they still live in your house with nothing to do at 30.

  1. You have to let them be on their own at times

Stop carrying them around everywhere because you are afraid. Stop babying your child when they are toddlers, let them play on their own and be around other kids on their own. They learn interpersonal skills that way. But when you get too scared because you see one child not acting the way yu want them to around your child; your child will never be able to interact properly with other kids. They will always be looking for you to take care of them.

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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